Thunder Bay Administration Releases Proposed 2020 Budget

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COTB Budget

$6 Million in Gross Increased Spending in 2020 Budget

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Thunder Bay City Administration has presented the proposed 2020 Municipal Budget which now forms the starting point for City Council’s detailed review and provides an increase in the municipal tax levy after growth of $4.5 million or 2.32%.

Overall spending will increase by $6 million dollars under the proposed draft budget.

“The demand for services continues to rise in Thunder Bay, especially in the area of emergency services and public safety and as a result of socio-economic factors,” said Norm Gale, City Manager. “This budget is considerate of such demand in an environment of reduced provincial funding without substantial cuts or decreases to services.”

“Continued efforts to find efficiencies along with opportunities for additional revenue sources assisted in offsetting lower provincial funding and inflationary cost increases,” said Linda Evans, GM- Corporate Services & Long Term Care, City Treasurer.

Councillor at Large Aldo Ruberto states, “Just to be clear the tax increase proposed is 2.32 percent. 3.17 is the tax level before we include new property assessments, so the starting point of the actual tax increase is 2.32 percent. Council will add and subtract from that number depending on the needs of the city”.

The budget proposal has drawn critical commentary online with social media commentary.

2020 Key Budget Drivers

  • Expansion and increased expenditures to Police Services – $1.9 million
  • Expansion for Next Generation 911 – $0.4 million
  • Reduced annual funding through the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund – $0.7 million.
  • Increase to fringe benefits (CPP & LTD) – $0.6 million
  • Final transition of Solid Waste Diversion/Recycling costs to tax-supported operations – $0.6 million
  • Increased debenture payments (Police / Fire Radios) – $0.4 million
  • Other expansions including City Solicitor, and costs associated with new assets – $0.4 million
  • Increased levy from Thunder Bay District Health Unit – $0.2 million
  • Increase to the capital budget funded by the tax levy – $0.2 million

Key drivers have been offset by:

  • Reduction to Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board levy budget – $0.7 million
  • Thunder Bay Hydro Corporation one time dividend – $0.5 million
  • Net impact of Tbaytel dividend policy update – $0.5 million
  • User fee increases – $0.4 million
  • Lower Transit budget to align with actual expenditures- $0.4 million

Investment in infrastructure renewal continues. The proposed 2020 Net Capital budget of $14.9 million represents an increase of $0.2 million over 2019 levels.

The Public Pre-Budget & Post-Budget Deputation Meetings will take place on January 9, 2020, and February 3, 2020, at 6:30 pm, at City Hall in the Council Chambers.

Council’s Budget Reviews will take place on January 14, 16, 22, and 29, with approval expected on Monday, February 10, 2020.

The proposed 2020 Capital and Operating Budgets and Community Handbook is now available at the Waverley and Brodie Library branches or can be accessed online at www.thunderbay.ca/budget

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