The city of Regina has released its proposed budget for 2017.
Included in the proposal was an increase of 3.18-percent to the mill rate. That is in addition to the one per cent tax for the improvement of residential roads.
Ian Rae the city’s Chief Financial Officer says this means a modest increase for the average homeowner.
“To give an example if you have a house with an assessed value of $400,000, that would be an additional $12.71 per month,” Rae said.
If your property has an assessed value of $300,000 that will mean a monthly increase of $8.48.
The education portion of property tax is not included in that number, as it is set by the province and only collected by the city on it’s behalf.
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A record $9.3 million was set aside for snow removal operations.Rae said they follow an average for that and set the number based on snowfall amounts.
“We budget and plan for snow clearing based on an average year, and then we maintain a reserve. In a particular year if snow clearing is more, we can draw from that reserve, at the same time if there is less snow to clear, we can put back into that reserve.”
Administration has also recommended an additional $2.6-million in contribution to capital investments for the year.As the majority of this year’s capital budget will aim to improve infrastructure, mainly roads, bridges and city facilities — which is an on-going priority for the city — administration has tripled its contributions to capital over the past five years.
More than $120-million will be be used by police and fire services.
Rae said there are modest increases there, which are for operational requirements that change year-to-year.
$84.5-million dollars will go to the Regina Police Service, Regina Fire and Protective Services will receive $42.6 million.
Some other key investments this year include: $3.7 million to provide operating grants to organizations such as Mobile Crisis and Carmichael Outreach; and enhancements to city transit and para-transit that includes $8.3 million to replace 13 buses and six para-transit buses.
“The proposed 2017 budget builds for the future while ensuring Regina remains one of the most affordable places to live in Canada,” said City Manager Chris Holden.
“This was challenging because the pace of economic growth has slowed and with it, the rate of new revenue growth. it was important that there be not cuts to our services or service levels and that we continue to invest in infrastructure, public safety and asset renewal,” Holden added
City council will will consider the proposed budget at a special meeting on February 13th.