The city of Regina will decide how they will fill a short-fall of nearly 11-million dollars Tuesday night.
Last Monday city council listened to and took in over three hours of delegations, all expressing their concerns about the impending increase to property taxes as well as proposed program cuts.
Ward 2 Councillor, Bob Hawkins said since last week’s meeting,he has heard from numerous residents, and many have told him they realize the position council is in.
“People have talked to me about the necessity to raise taxes, and there has been both pros and cons about that, nobody likes to pay more taxes, but I think most people realize we’re being forced to do this by the provincial government,” Hawkins told 620 CKRM on Monday.
City administration has proposed a mill rate increase of 2.5 per-cent, from the original increase of 3.99 per-cent in February.
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Ward 3 Councillor, Andrew Stevens said since last week’s meeting he has had non-stop conversations with residents, all who understand the situation council is in, but are worried they will see cuts to key programs and services.
“The conversations have been non-stop. It’s actually been a really positive opportunity from a councilors perspective to get to know peoples concerns. I think the big issue is the fear of seeing services reduced or cut back,” Stevens said Monday afternoon.
Council was forced to re-open their 2017 budget after the province announced a reduction to the grants-in-lieu program.
The Saskatchewan government has asked municipalities to dip into their reserve funds to make up for the lost money, something the city of Regina has insisted is not the answer.
In 2016 the city had an operating surplus over 9-million dollars, however most of that surplus was used in February to keep the mill rate increase under four per-cent.