Regina approves budget, including 3.4% property tax increase

·2 min read
Regina Mayor Sandra Masters says she's happy with the budget this year, for the most part.  (Matt Duguid/CBC - image credit)
Regina Mayor Sandra Masters says she's happy with the budget this year, for the most part. (Matt Duguid/CBC - image credit)

Next year's Regina city budget was passed in an 8-3 vote Friday, after three days of deliberations.

Couns. Lori Bresciani, Terina Shaw, and Landon Mohl voted against.

Property taxes will go up by 3.4 per cent next in the 2022 budget — an increase of about $6 per month for the owner of an average home (one assessed at $315,000).

The increase to the mill rate — which determines the tax per dollar of a property's assessed value, expressed in "mills" — was originally proposed to be 3.49 per cent, but was lowered slightly in the final approved budget.

Dedicated portions of the increase are already approved to go to Mosaic Stadium (0.45 per cent) and the city's recreational infrastructure program (0.5 per cent), as well as the Regina Police Service (1.32 per cent).

The proposed five per cent utility rate increase was approved in the budget, though Coun. John Findura made more than one motion to try to lower that increase to just two per cent.

The utility rate hike will cost average the average home owner about $7.25 more per month.

Mayor Sandra Masters said Friday the budget should make most people happy.

"When we hear from citizens, it's [about] roads, it's safety, and dealing with the severity of crime in our community, as well as the severity of vulnerable and marginalized people, and recreation," she said.

"I think you can come away from … [the budget process] saying that we've achieved probably in the top three anyways of what they've asked for."

Some notable changes in the final budget include a community safety pilot that will run in the Warehouse District, modelled on the existing downtown group. The two will share a supervisor for now, but that could change as council reviews the pilot at the end of next year.

Extended swim hours for some outdoor pools in the summertime were also approved.

Masters said she was particularly pleased with the infrastructure spending, which she said is enormously important.

The Regina Police Service's budget was approved Wednesday, with $92.8 million for the service's operating budget alone and $4.7 million for its capital budget.

The budget also includes:

  • $875,000 for community safety and well-being.

  • $500,000 for harm reduction funding.

  • $1.2 million to address the backlog of sidewalk maintenance.

  • $1 million to make leisure activities more accessible for people with disabilities.

  • $6.3 million for green projects, including $5.5 million to create a household food and yard waste program.

  • $28 million for Regina Transit.

  • $6.9 million for the recreation/culture capital program and recreation infrastructure program.

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