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CHAMBER CEO PROVIDES CIVIC BUDGET BREAKDOWN

Posted by: Regina Chamber Admin - December 20, 2023

By TONY PLAYTER

CEO, Regina & District Chamber of Commerce

Historically during past budget presentations, City Administration would ask for a high mill-rate increase based on projected needs. Following three days of discussions and rate payer presentations, Council would decide that a more reasonable lower mill rate was needed and reduce it.

This year, the budget presentation lasted four days and included intense discussions and dramatic moments. It appeared that some councillors were more interested in protecting their personal interests and long-range visions than helping reduce the suggested mill rate.

There also seemed to be confusion on how the budget was presented. This caused some challenges on creating potential funding solutions.

It was great to hear that city administration has done a stellar job of accumulating surpluses in many key areas. This is important for future growth and upgrading infrastructure. The extra accumulated funds also created an opportunity to relieve some of the tax and inflation pressures our residents and businesses are feeling today.

After the dust cleared, Council landed on a final mill rate increase of 2.85 per cent. For the average homeowner that looks like a fair mill rate increase.

When you include the addition of the utility rate and the shifting of waste services fees to the utility bill from the mill rate, residents and businesses are now looking at paying between $19 to $30 more a month to the City.

Altogether, the increases add up to $19.79 a month, $237.48 a year, for those with the smaller bin, and $27.40 a month, $328.80 a year, for those who continue to use the larger bin.

When adding the garbage collection in with the property tax increase, the new total now becomes a 5.94 per cent mill rate increase. We all understand the financial pressures the City is facing, because we are facing them as well. This increase just adds to the personal pressure.

With that magnitude of an increase, can we still claim that Regina is an affordable city to live work and raise a family in?

Breakdown of 2024 Mill Rate Increase        

Civic Operations                                                                                                    3.18%

Recreational Infrastructure Dedicated Mill Rate                                           0.50%

Police Operations                                                                                                  1.6%

Eastern Pressure Solution Dedicated Mill Rate                                             0.63%

Community Investment Grant Program – Cold Weather Strategy           0.03%

Mill Rate Increase before Garbage Collection Reduction                           5.94%

Garbage Collection Reduction                                                            (3.09)%

Total Proposed Mill Rate Increase                                                                  2.85%

(not including utilities and garbage and waste)

Chamber News & Updates

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