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Committee opts for lower multi-year indicative tax rate

For immediate release: June 17, 2019 - 5:31pm
CF19-494

As one of the initial steps in developing the City’s first multi-year business plan and budget, the City’s Governance and Priorities Committee (GPC) today set the indicative municipal property rate target less than 3.94% for 2020, and 4.17% for 2021 previously presented to maintain services.

Administration presented three property tax options for the GPC Committee to consider.  The Committee resolved that Administration report back in August for options to produce a budget less than the current estimated costs to maintain existing services and implement the city-wide organics program phase-in.

“With the indicative municipal property tax rates set today, our teams will now spend the next few weeks focusing on where we can shift resources within the budget,” says Kerry Tarasoff, Chief Financial Officer. “Committee directed Administration to bring back options for them to consider.”

The report to Committee outlined a targeted municipal property tax increase equal to 3.94% in 2020 and 4.17% in 2021, which includes an additional 1.0% towards the city-wide organics program and the waste operations/landfill operating deficit and funding shortfall.

“This process provides the Administration with a guideline to prepare the budget in advance of final deliberations in late November,” Tarasoff says. “When considering the phase-in of the organics program and the deficit in waste operations, we’ll be looking at the options available to us to reduce the impact on property tax rates and related service-level impacts.”

Setting the indicative municipal property tax rate for two years provides greater certainty for residents about the future direction of property taxes. The process gives Administration direction to further refine the budget including service level changes and initiatives aimed at achieving City Council’s Strategic Priorities.

The indicative property tax rate acts as a starting point or baseline. City Council can change it as it makes final decisions on the budget priorities it wants to invest in. The City’s final budget, and related municipal property tax rates, for 2020 and 2021 will be made at budget deliberations set for the end of November 2019.

The new multi-year business plan and budget process supports better alignment of the City’s longer-term goals and objectives, and delivers improved financial stability, transparency and accountability.

For more information on the City’s multi-year budget, visit saskatoon.ca/budget.