The CEO of the Regina Chamber of Commerce is not pleased with city council’s approval of a mill rate increase, but says it is something they’ll have to live with.
John Hopkins was a delegate at the city budget meeting on Tuesday night, and asked city council to consider lowering the mill rate as much as they can in order to help businesses in Regina.
Hopkins says the decrease from 4.86% to 4.34 is encouraging considering there were motions on the table to increase the mill rate.
“Anytime you have a decrease, it’s positive. It wasn’t a large decrease, but it’s a decrease none the less,” Hopkins says. “We’re thankful that it wasn’t higher, because there was motions on the floor of council that looked to increase the rate from 4.86 to an even higher rate, so we’re pleased that those didn’t pass.”
Hopkins says he still believes the provincial budgets cuts in last year`s budget played a role in this year`s city budget.
“There’s 1% for local roads, there’s .5% for the stadium, and then there’s a significant amount for police as well. Was there an impact from the provincial budget? In terms of grants-in-lieu and loss of that funding, there certainly has been an impact,” Hopkins says. “City hall has made some cuts to accommodate some of that, but some of that has passed through as well.”
During his delegation speech, Hopkins warned Regina businesses may look to leave the city if business taxes got too high and move to a municipality surrounding Regina.