City Administration Proposing 5.5% Municipal Tax Levy Increase

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Thunder Bay City Hall in Winter
Thunder Bay City Hall in Winter

THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – Thunder Bay’s proposed 2024 Municipal Budget was presented to the public. Forming the basis for City Council’s comprehensive review, the budget proposes a $12.1 million increase in the municipal tax levy, marking a 5.5% rise after growth.

City Manager Norm Gale remarked, “In the wake of a post-COVID world marked by high inflation and global instability, this second budget we’re considering aims to balance maintaining essential programs and services with the prevailing external and internal pressures. The challenges faced by our residents resonate within the Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay as well.”

Gale continued, “This budget aligns with City Council’s mandate. It’s the result of the hard work of many dedicated individuals, and we’re grateful for their efforts. We now look to the City Council for their guidance on this proposal.”

Keri Greaves, City Treasurer, emphasized the collaborative effort behind this fiscally responsible budget. “The proposal addresses key priorities, including elements of the Digital Strategy, Human Resources Strategy, Affordable Transit Pass Pilot Project, and the provincially mandated Organics Program. It also reinvests the savings from the retired Homes Debenture into capital infrastructure,” said Greaves.

Budget Highlights:

  • Positive Impacts: Organizational realignment and service level reduction bring $2.6 million in savings, user fees increases add $1.2 million, other revenue increases contribute $2.5 million, and a decrease in insurance premiums saves $0.8 million.
  • Challenges: The budget also faces hurdles, including a $4.1 million increase for Community Partner, inflationary pressures and supply chain constraints at $1.1 million, and $1.7 million for continued implementation of Program & Service Review recommendations and other expansions.

The proposed 2024 Capital financed by the tax levy is set at $20.2 million, a $1.9 million increase over the previous year.

Community Participation:

Residents are encouraged to participate and provide feedback:

  1. Online Survey: Available from Jan. 19 to Feb. 7 at www.thunderbay.ca/GetInvolved.
  2. Hard Copy Survey: Accessible through the Budget Community Handbook on the City website, or available at Waverley and Brodie branches of the Thunder Bay Public Library, and City Hall.
  3. Public Q&A Session: Scheduled for Thursday, January 25th at 6 pm at the Victoria Inn – Embassy Suite, 555 W. Arthur Street. This session offers a chance to engage with Corporate Department leaders, ask questions, and share feedback.

Council Review Schedule:

Budget reviews by the Council are slated for January 30, February 1, 5, 7, starting at 5 pm, with final approval targeted for February 12.

For a detailed overview of the proposed 2024 Municipal Budget, visit www.thunderbay.ca/budget.

For further inquiries, contact the Office of the City Clerk at 625-2230.

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