The 2021 City budget was approved today, with a zero-percent tax levy increase. This is the first zero-percent increase since 1997.
These are challenging times, and this budget reflects the City’s response to this challenge. We knew that with reduced revenue and ongoing essential expenses, we would have to adjust and reduce some programs, services, and projects.
The process has not been without difficulties and trade-offs. We have heard from the public about the value of recreation, community-building, transit, and services for vulnerable folks. Many branches and areas have reduced their budgets. Those efforts are appreciated. City Council may not always agree, but we all brought our diverse perspectives to the table and worked together to build a budget that will see the city through 2021. Thank you, everyone.
A few highlights:
• 0% Tax Increase
• Restored Community Investment Grant
• Retained Spay and Neuter Services at Animal Care and Control Centre
• Maintained all pools and arenas
• No increase for Transit Cash Fares
• Maintained proposed reductions to Bus Network Redesign
• Maintained Fall, Winter, Spring Green Shack programs (Summer program already funded)