City of Regina looking at another 5% tax hike for residential roads

Regina pondering another 5% special tax hike for residential roads

Plan would see road levy cash rise to $10.2M annually over 5 years

Although a special 1 per cent property tax was introduced this year to fix crumbling residential streets, the city says that's not enough.

In a report going to the city's Public Works Committee tomorrow, officials say another 5 per cent is needed.

They're recommending it be phased in an extra 1 per cent a year for five years.

To look at how that translates into real dollars, for a typical homeowner who might pay around $1,500 in municipal taxes, the $15 being levied this year would increase to $30 next year.

It would go up to $45 the year after that and on and on until year six when it would top out at $90.

Last year, when officials introduced the idea of a dedicated mill rate to fix crumbling residential roads (as opposed to high traffic roads, which generally are in better shape), the city did not say it planned to increase the tax for another five years.

But officials now say roads are deteriorating so quickly, the $1.7 million raised by the original tax will not be enough to have an impact.

"In order to stop the current downward condition trend, stabilize and begin improving the residential road network, an estimated annual budget of approximately $14 million would be required currently, with inflation requiring additional future funding," the report says.

To get to $14 million, the city plans to raise $10.2 million a year from the road levy and the remaining $3.8 million from a reserve fund.

With that amount of money raised, city staff say the overall condition of the residential road condition can be improved to 85 per cent "fair or better" within 15 years.

The proposal needs the approval of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, with City Council having the final say. 

The proposal for more taxes for residential roads comes at the same time the city is revamping its local improvement program, where neighbourhood residents and the city split the costs of replacing curbs, gutters, sidewalks and other infrastructure.