Sudbury

Sudbury's proposed 2020 budget to include 3.5% property tax increase

The City of Greater Sudbury's proposed 2020 budget includes a proposed 3.5 per cent property tax increase.

Residents invited to share input at city's online survey site: overtoyou.greatersudbury.ca

The city's Chief Administrative Officer, Ed Archer presented an overview of the 2020 budget to city council on Wednesday. (Kari Vierimaa/CBC)

The City of Greater Sudbury's proposed 2020 budget includes a proposed 3.5 per cent property tax increase.

City council was presented the proposed financial plan by Ed Archer, chief administrative officer, during Wednesday's Finance and Administration committee meeting.

The proposed budget includes service level increases, that Archer says people in the city expect.

"The rationale is that these are services that are fundamentally important to the quality of life in the community whether they are a transportation network, transit, social services, recreation services. They're all important to somebody," he said.

"This is about making the city an attractive place to live and work and to play."

Archer told the committee that for a typical home assessed at $230,000, the 3.5 per cent property tax increase would equal about $9 extra a month.

The proposed operating budget is $614.9 million, which includes costs to perform routine operations and deliver the service levels council requested. About 47 per cent of the operating budget is funded by property taxes.

The proposed capital budget is $162.1 million. Roughly half of that is dedicated to roads and drainage projects.

"We propose a number of service changes including for example our roads program. Half the capital budget is dedicated to roads' renewal work because asset renewal is something that needs more attention than we've given it in the past," Archer said.

Other investments include technology solutions, facility investments and road maintenance equipment.

Archer says the investments in technology will streamline business processes and will make customer service transactions across the corporation easier for people to navigate.

Budget highlights

Some of the highlights of the proposed 2020 budget include: 

  • $79 million investment in roads
  • $39.1 million investment in water and wastewater infrastructure
  • $1.4 million investment in landfill and waste diversion sites in Sudbury and Hanmer
  • $7.8 million investment to maintain and improve service levels for GOVA (the city's transit system)
  • $2.4 million investment to maintain and improve the Howard Armstrong Recreation Centre, the Dowling Leisure Centre and the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.

"We have a significant influence over how lifestyles work here in Greater Sudbury," Archer said.

"We're sensitive to that, but the services have a value and they have a cost and they must be funded through things like property taxes."

However, the proposed budget also sees some cuts in funding to discretionary funds, as well a service level change to Ontario Works. Archer says some of these cuts are due to less funding from the province.

"What we did in preparing this plan was review that level of spending in other communities, and saw that our levels were a little high. We scaled those back," he told the committee.

Archer added that the projected $7 million deficit for the 2019 budget will have no effect on the 2020 budget.

Residents can share their input on the proposed budget at the city's online survey site: overtoyou.greatersudbury.ca. Those comments will be received until Nov. 22.

Sudbury City Council will deliberate the budget Dec. 3, 4 and 5.

About the Author

Jamie-Lee McKenzie is from Kebaowek First Nation. She's a Reporter with CBC Sudbury. She's also worked as a Reporter and Associate Producer with CBC Manitoba and CBC North in Whitehorse. Reach her at jamie.mckenzie@cbc.ca or connect with her on Twitter @JamieMcKenzie_

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