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Regina Chamber to Attend Budget Deliberations

Posted by: Regina Chamber Admin - December 12, 2023

For Immediate Release:

On Wednesday, the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce will be asking Regina City Council to examine the proposed budget and find fiscally responsible options to reduce the mill rate.

Following the direction of our members, the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce is recommending some changes to the current proposed budget.

  1. We ask that City Council review any current unfilled positions and shift them to the needed areas instead of adding new staff. This would not only reduce the mill rate but also assist with the City’s on-going internal efficiency review.
  2. Strategically investing more City resources in facility improvements for REAL needs to be a priority. Moving resources from the facilities asset management funding to repair and upgrade REAL is a good idea but only if it does not jeopardize other city owned assets.

A healthy REAL will attract more concerts, events and conferences. Visitors enjoying these events create significant economic impact for the Regina business community.

  1. While the proposed mill rate of 2.82% sounds very attractive, we need to make sure we are communicating the actual overall cost to rate payers and the Regina business community in 2024.

It needs to be made very clear to ratepayers that City Administration is removing the garbage, food and yard waste costs from the mill rate and adding it to your utility bill.

Even though the City has moved to a user pay model for food and yard waste, which is fair for everyone, it could add more than $23 to your monthly utility bill depending on the size of your cart. This is in addition to the proposed mill rate increase and could cause a significant negative financial impact for many.

We understand that the utilities operate on a full cost recovery basis, so it is not reasonable to ask for a reduction on those costs. However, there may be room to reduce the user fee which is currently around $2.60 daily per household.

“We understand the additional costs the City is facing to continue to provide quality services, because our business community is challenged with them as well,” said Tony Playter, CEO of the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce. “We need to lower the proposed mill rate and utility cost because an increase of this magnitude will be detrimental and limit both residential and the business growth.”

“Most importantly, decisions made through the budget process need to deliver a fair and competitive tax rate that makes our city attractive to live, work and play in,” Playter added.

 

For more information contact:

Tony Playter

CEO – Regina & District Chamber of Commerce

tplayter@reginachamber.com

 

 

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