The average Thunder Bay homeowner can expect to pay another $89 in property taxes this year, now that the city has ratified its budget for 2013.

For about 14,000 households, taxes will go up between $50 and $100.

Mayor Keith Hobbs said he's pleased with the budget, even though he too will have to dig deeper for his own taxes.

"I have to cut out six medium coffees a month this year," he said.

"[To] put it into everyday working people's perspective, that's what it's going to cost."

Budget highlights:

  • $9.7 million for roads
  • $6.8 million for water mains
  • $5.3 million for city vehicle replacement, including transit
  • $4.6 million for sewage plant improvements
  • $2.4 million for bridges
  • $1.1 million for parks

Hobbs said the budget puts more money into roads and infrastructure, which he heard was a priority for taxpayers.

Water rates to rise

But Coun. Rebecca Johnson said she was against the budget from the start and that taxpayers can't afford any increase.

She said she was tired of nitpicking the budget.

"We weren't going to win," she noted. "I mean, this budget had already been ratified, so you have to decide how much more do you keep pulling it forward? I decided it wasn't worth it at this point."

But she's claiming a small victory.

"You have to look at where you can actually win when you are sitting around the table," she said.

"And so, I felt very good that we didn't add anything to the budget … I'm feeling very pleased with that."

The other increase that will be seen by homeowners is a seven per cent rise in water rates. City administration said that charge should stabilize within a couple of years.