The multitude of requests complicates the preparation of the City of Greater Sudbury’s budget

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City of Greater Sudbury elected officials have asked the municipal administration to produce a budget proposal that does not exceed a three percent increase in tax levies

Keeping tax increases as low as Greater Sudbury City Council wants for 2022, according to a report by Municipal Budgets Coordinator Liisa Lenz.

In June, the city’s finance and administration committee demanded that city staff prepare a draft budget that included a tax increase of no more than three percent.

The budget proposal is currently at 3.4%, Lenz notes in a report included in the agenda for the October 19 finance and administration committee meeting.

“Staff will cut the net budget by approximately $ 1.1 million to meet the guideline before it is released in November,” she wrote. “There are significant budgetary pressures such as increased wages and benefits, energy costs, insurance and contractual obligations as well as approved changes to social services.”

In June, the city administration forecast a required six percent tax increase, which assumes a one percent assessment growth in order to maintain the status quo of services.

Since then, several changes have taken place that will help inform budget preparations, Lenz wrote, including:

  • Overall wages and benefits, excluding police, are expected to increase by $ 7 million, which equates to a tax increase of 2.3%.
  • Increases in the cost of materials and contractual obligations are set to increase winter control costs by $ 670,000, or a tax increase of 0.2 percent.
  • The increase in the cost of fuel, natural gas and electricity will result in an additional cost of $ 760,000, or a tax increase of 0.3%.
  • A tight insurance market, increasing litigation, climate change and other factors increasing claims have resulted in increased insurance costs for municipalities in Ontario, with Greater Sudbury having to pay 1.3 million more dollars, or 0.4% tax increase.
  • Although the city has received a preliminary budget from the Greater Sudbury Police Department, they are still awaiting confirmation from other service partners, including Public Health Sudbury & Districts and Conservation Sudbury. The city anticipates an increase in demand of $ 3 million, or a tax increase of 1%.
  • On June 29, city council approved funding of $ 1.1 million through a grant to Public Health Sudbury & Districts to operate a monitored consumption site until the upper levels of government escalate. This would equate to a 0.4 percent tax increase.

According to the City’s water and sewer services financial plan, a 4.8% rate increase is expected in 2022, which will translate into approximately $ 2.2 million in additional allocations for water projects. ‘fixed assets.

City officials are also preparing to discuss several business issues for the 2022 budget, including case valued at $ 7.17 million in 2022 budget impacts presented at the October 5 finance and administration committee meeting which, if fully approved, would result in an additional tax increase of 2.4 percent.

Other business cases, including those requested too late to arrive in time for the October 5 meeting and those pushed back after October 13 municipal council meeting completed halfway on the evening’s agenda, should also be debated.

Ward 8 Council. Al Sizer has previously indicated that he is unlikely to support many business cases, as positive as he has said, due to lingering concerns about the growing debt and reserves that lag behind comparable Ontario municipalities.

The city’s finance and administration committee is expected to discuss Lenz’s report on Tuesday, which will be followed by the city administration’s tabling of its draft budget on November 2.

The city council will confirm its intentions during three days of budget meetings from November 29 to December 1, and the city’s operating and investment budget is expected to be approved on December 14.

The city’s 2022 property tax policy is expected to be released in May.

Tyler Clarke covers City Hall and Political Affairs for Sudbury.com.

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