Tax increase on the horizon

Mayor Greg Dionne anticipates slightly higher taxes ahead of budget deliberations

Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne said he foresees a small tax increase for Prince Albert residents as city council prepares for two days of budget deliberations.

The proposed 2017 Municipal General Fund Budget released by the city’s financial services department is set at $70.4 million. That represents a $1.2 million increase from 2016.

Roughly $964,000 of that $1.2 million is expected to be covered by tax increases and grants-in-lieu of taxes.

On Monday, Dionne said there would likely be a slight tax increase, but emphasized that nothing was final.

“I see a small one (tax increase),” he said. “The administration has put forth their proposal, but then what we do is we take that three or four per cent that they’re looking for and we go through it line by line.”

Dionne said the goal is to set tax rates as low as possible and added that although the city certainly has priorities, councillors would review all programs to make sure they’re getting the best bang for their buck.

“I don’t think in any budget, anything should be untouchable,” Dionne said. “I think there are certainly things that are a priority, but at some times you have to look at what else is happening.”

For more on this story, please read the Prince Albert Daily Herald’s subscription-based print or e-editions.