Council passes 2017 budget with 3.6% property tax, 7.4% water rate hike
Home worth $230 thousand will pay $100 more in taxes, $76 additionally for water next year
People living in Sudbury, Ont., will face higher property taxes and water rates next year, but they will not have to pay an extra infrastructure levy.
City council approved the 2017 budget on Wednesday evening at $541 million with a 3.6 per cent property tax hike and a 7.4 per cent water rate increase.
Council was considering to add a 1.5 per cent special capital levy that would have funded repairs to aging infrastructure, but it was unanimously defeated.
"We're currently at a 3.6 per cent levy increase for our residents," councillor and finance chair Mike Jakubo said.
The property tax increase means people living in a home worth $230 thousand will have to pay approximately $100 more in taxes next year. They will also have to spend $76.50 additionally for water.
Bigger 'feeling good' about budget
There are some big ticket items in next year's budget, including a $5 million commitment towards the creation of a downtown Place des Arts.
The financial plan also contains double the amount of infrastructure investments from 2016, which is partly due to federal and provincial government contributions to projects, such as the Maley Drive extension.
"I'm feeling very good about this budget," Mayor Brian Bigger said.
Other 2017 budget highlights
- Summer recreation programs: User fees will go up $50 due to decline in provincial and federal grants for summer students.
- Enhanced winter sidewalk maintenance: Clear one side of all two-sided sidewalks at a cost of $240 thousand.
- Pot holes: An additional $2 million investment to keep roads intact.
- Physician recruitment: Spend $150 thousand to recruit new family physicians.
- Live streaming: Accessibility advisory panel meetings will be live streamed for a cost of $5 thousand.
- Municipal Benchmarking Network Canada Membership: Sudbury will join a network of Canadian municipalities to share expertise and data so it can improve service performance and demonstrate transparency to taxpayers for an annual cost of $50 thousand.
- Asset management co-ordinator: New position will support city departments with their asset management needs, such as roads, buildings, parks and emergency services. The estimated cost of salaries and benefits may be approximately $122 thousand.
- Skate path: Ramsey Lake skate path will be extended by 300 metres to the Northern Water Sports Centre at a cost of $12 thousand.
Budgets for outside boards
- Nickel District Conservation Authority $683 thousand
- Sudbury and District Health Unit $6 million
- Greater Sudbury Police Service $60.5 million