Regina budget calls for tax freeze
Thanks in part to some extra cash from the province, Regina property taxpayers will be getting a break this year.
According to the preliminary City of Regina budget, there will not be a mill rate increase in 2009.
Budget documents call for $255 million in spending this year, an increase of about nine per cent from last year.
The city will spend about $120 million on streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure.
The proposed budget also includes an extra $6.9 million to improve the transit system, $5.6 million to fix up the Albert Street bridge and $2.2 million to improve the dump and garbage collection system.
However, no tax increase is needed because, among other things, there's increased money coming in from property taxes and fees — thanks to the fact the city is growing.
The city also has a $5-million surplus from last year to keep it in the black. And then there's the new money from the province.
In last month's Saskatchewan budget, the province unveiled a new way of sharing money with municipalities, giving cities, towns and villages a guaranteed slice of provincial sales tax revenue. It meant a hefty boost this year to the money that cities are taking in.
Regina's provincial grant this year is $25.9 million.
Saskatoon is getting more provincial money this year, too, although its preliminary budget, released earlier this week, calls for a 3.4 per cent increase on the city portion of property taxes.
The cities are expected to approve final versions of their budgets later this month.