St. John's council finalizes pre-budget meetings
St. John's city council held its last pre-budget meeting on Saturday before talks began on what will be included in the budget for 2014.
The meeting, which was closed to the media, was held at the Capital Hotel on Kenmount Road.
Councillors said affordable housing and public transit were discussed, and will be considered when the budget is brought down in early December.
As for tax increases, councillors said they are still unsure whether or not residents can expect to see a change.
"I don't know if we always have to be increasing taxes. I like the idea of very slow growth in the budget and finding ways that we can improve services from within, and that is happening," Coun. Dave Lane said.
"Certainly over the past two years the budget has gone up very slowly and that has been intentional. So hopefully we don't have to raise taxes. I'm not sure where the numbers are there, but it's looking pretty good as far as I can tell."
Finance committee chair and councillor Danny Breen said the city will try to maintain the current property tax rate.
"I can say right now that our goal is to keep taxes at the lowest possible level, and that's how we approach the budget process each year," Breen said.
The Canadian Home Builders' Association of Newfoundland and Labrador and the St. John's Board of Trade were among the groups that took part in the round-table discussion.
The city outlined their budget plans for three years when the 2013 budget was released.