The City of Regina’s first multi-year budget has been approved by city council.
For residents, that will mean a mill rate increase of 3.67 per cent in 2023.
That increase includes 1.29 per cent for civic operations, 0.5 per cent for the continuation of the previously approved dedicated mill rate for the Recreational Infrastructure Program, and 1.88 per cent for the Regina Police Service.
For the average Regina homeowner ($315,000), the increase will result in a property tax increase of $6.85 per month or $82.20.
Those increases will result in the following:
- $20.6 million for facility upgrades to support City bus electrification
- $2.2 million for facility upgrades to advance the Renewable Regina 2050 goal
- $1.5 million for light-duty vehicle electric charging stations
- $1.7 million in annual funding for Community & Social Impact Regina
- $458,000 in annual funding plus $365,000 capital funding for the Winter City Strategy, including funding support for Frost Regina, the Rick Hansen Skating Loop and Winter Hub, and the A.E Wilson Park Winter Hub
- $758,000 annually for the Adapted Recreation Plan
- $646,000 for Transit On-Demand service
Also seeing an increase was the City’s utility rate, with an increase of 4.5 per cent in 2023.
The increase is three per cent for base operations and asset renewal, one per cent related to funding the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant Upgrade project, and 0.5 per cent for the new Utility affordability program for low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities.
That increase will cost the average customer $7.32 a month or $87.84 per year.
The utility rate increase will allow the City to maintain the utility system, fund the renewal of the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant, and offer new affordability programs for low-income seniors and people with disabilities.
Combining the mill rate and utility rate increases, Regina residents will pay an extra $14.17 monthly and $107.04 per year.
Councillor Lori Bresciani amended to lower the mill rate by one per cent.
“Times are tough for everyone, and I think that we know that we need to balance this budget in the fairest way,” she said. “One of the things coming out of the pandemic we’ve heard consistently from families and it doesn’t matter where you live and what area. Inflation, food prices, cost of living gas.”
The lower mill rate will reduce the City’s expenditures by $2.9 million. City administration will now have to figure out how that money can be made up.
City Manager Niki Anderson said it’s a significant decrease and will lead to impacts.
She also said that the administration would commit to coming back to council in the first quarter of 2023 to discuss how city administration would cut $2.9 million in the budget to reach the mill rate target.