The City of Regina’s proposed budget for 2022 has been released.
Included is a 3.49 percent mill rate hike.
If City Council approves that, it would mean an average homeowner would pay about $75.00 more in property taxes per year.
City Manager Chris Holden says that the mill rate increase is steep but also reasonable. “If we don’t raise the mill rate increase then of course that compounds year over year and it just puts us in the position where we would struggle to make our capital investments that we need to make to make sure so that we can provide those services.”
Investment in recreational infrastructure and programs is very important for the city according to Holden. “There is I think an increased expectation and appreciation for our open space, our park space, our sport program, our cultural programs, so that’s why we need to make those investments. We need to be able to remain competitive in terms of do I live in Regina, do I live in Saskatoon, do I live in Calgary, do I live in Edmonton, do I live in our communities in Saskatchewan.”
There is also a five percent utility rate increase on the table for council to consider. 2% of the increase would be used to accelerating the replacement of lead pipe connections throughout Regina. The remaining 3% would be used to fund operations, maintenance and the long term Utility capital plan.
An average family of four would see that increase their taxes by $87.00 per year.
Also included in the proposed budget is $104-million for Regina Police, which is an increase of $4-million from 2021, $45-million for roads, up $2-million from 2021, and $57-million for parks, recreation and culture, an increase of $5-million from 2021.
The 2022 General Capital Fund for infrastructure maintenance and renewal of roads, bridges, sidewalks and City-owned and operated facilities would see an investment of $136 million which is highlighted by $18.2 million dollars directed towards the Street Infrastructure Renewal program along with $12 million dollars used for Residential Roads Renewal Program.
City Council will review the proposed 2022 budget in December.