Monday, September 24, 2018 - 10:15 AM

City Distributes Mail-out on Budget Plan for 2019-2021

As part of ongoing planning, discussion and engagement on the upcoming three-year budget plan, the City of St. John’s is distributing a publication via mail which outlines the projected 2019 budget and mill rate range for residents.

The publication also outlines challenges the City is facing as it prepares for the next fiscal year; the efforts underway to reduce costs; and the ways residents can engage with the City before the final budget is approved in December.

“This is the first time in the city’s history that we have shared our projections this early with the public,” said Mayor Danny Breen. “We have heard from our residents that they want to be engaged early and often in budget discussions, so we are providing that opportunity.”

“We believe it is vitally important to let residents know how we are proposing to address projected deficits for 2019, 2020 and 2021,” explained Councillor Dave Lane, lead on Finance and Administration. “In order to balance our budget without impacting services, we are projecting a mill rate increase in the range of .4 to .6 for residential properties and 1.0 to 1.9 for commercial properties, as well as a $30 increase in the water tax.”
 
2019 is also an assessment year, and residents will receive a new assessment in early December based on property values as of January 1, 2017. Current property taxes are based on assessed values as of January 1, 2014.
 
“Although each property must be looked at individually, the City is projecting an overall decline in property values, creating a revenue deficit that could be addressed by either reducing services or increasing mill rates,” explained Councillor Lane. “Based on public engagement to date, including our city-wide citizen satisfaction survey, Council does not feel the public want a service reduction. To maintain our current service levels while avoiding a deficit situation, we are projecting a marginal mill rate increase. It is with this in mind that we are entering our budget engagement process.”
 
The full plan is outlined in a publication being mailed directly to residents beginning September 24. An electronic version of the publication and other information, as well as details on how the public can engage with City Council on the budget, are available at engagestjohns.ca. Please see the attached backgrounder for public engagement details.
 
Media Contact:
Kelly Maguire
Media Relations
City of St. John's
709-576-8491
kmaguire@stjohns.ca