Stay engaged and informed

17-Jul-2019

Budget simulator results and proposed phase one municipal tax reform to be presented and discussed during Finance Committee meeting. Join us for the meeting.

In person:
Thursday, July 18, 2019
5:15 p.m.
8th Floor Common Council Chamber, City Hall
15 Market Square

Through live-stream on saintjohn.ca. The meeting will be recorded and available the following day through the City’s website.

Agenda items to watch for

Public Consultation Budget Simulator Results: This agenda item is for the Finance Committee to receive and file and includes a summary of the results from the public consultation that was performed using the City’s budget simulator in March and April 2019. By offering the public information about the City’s structural deficit, budgetary decisions that need to be made and implications of those decision, the goal of the consultation process was to collect public input and feedback that will provide the City with key themes to consider for the ten-year financial plan. Just over 550 people participated in the process and, of those, only 35 per cent submitted a balanced budget that found sufficient increases in property taxes and changes in service levels to eliminate the deficit. The remaining 358 participants were not able to balance the budget. For a summary of the comments and key themes that were identified through the budget simulator public consultation process, view the Report.

Proposed Phase One – Municipal Tax Reform: This agenda item is a recommendation for the Finance Committee to recommend that Common Council formally adopt the proposed Phase One – Municipal Tax reform and place a request to the Province of New Brunswick for it to be added as a component of the Sustaining Saint John – A Three-Part Plan. The proposed Phase One – Municipal Tax Reform provides a mechanism to allow the Provincial portion of the heavy industrial property taxes currently collected within the City of Saint John to remain in the City as a reflection of the unique impact that large industry has on the City. Heavy industry located in Saint John currently pays approximately $12 million in property tax to the City on an annual basis, of which the Province retains close to $9 million. Phase One would be an interim step in the much broader and more comprehensive review of municipal taxation, as committed to by the Province of New Brunswick in the recently released three-part plan. This first phase is reflective of the urgency of the City’s current financial challenges. For further details on Saint John’s unique industrial profile and the significant benefit the proposed reform would have on financial outcomes and service delivery to the community, view the Report.

Additional items on the agenda include:

2020 and 2021 Proposed Draft General Fund Capital Budgets – The draft budgets continue to focus on multiple priorities, such as the City’s infrastructure deficit, environmental factors, safety and growth opportunities. The proposed list of individual projects concentrates on addressing multiple priorities. These budgets keep the emphasis on affordability and reducing borrowing to $11 million in 2020 and $10.5 million in 2021. The recently approved Debt Management policy will ensure the City’s debt continues to decrease as it has in the last several years; with a balance of $119.3 million at the end of 2014, it is estimated to be $102.4 million by the end of 2019. View the Report.

Bi-Lateral Funding Application – see application presentation.

The full Finance Committee Agenda and supporting materials are available online through the City’s website.

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(506) 649-6008
saintjohn.ca