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City of Moncton will see a slight tax rate increase in 2016


December 21, 2015

City of Moncton will see a slight tax rate increase in 2016
First increase in eight years

MONCTON – Moncton City Council resolved to formally adopt its 2016 Budget at its December 21, 2015 public Council meeting.  Residents’ tax rate will increase by one cent in 2016 to $1.6497 per hundred dollars of assessed value.  In addition to the tax rate, the assessment of 0.7 per cent on existing homes will mean an increase of $16 from 2015 based on a typical home valued at $157,000. The City continues to grow with an increase in assessment of 1 per cent as a result of new construction and development, for a total provincial assessment increase of 1.70 per cent.
 
“This was one of the most challenging budget deliberations, and we were faced with some difficult choices. Council was confronted with significant increases in costs for the RCMP, continued reduction in the community funding and equalization grant and lower assessment growth. Nevertheless the increase in the tax rate was less than anticipated,” said Mayor George LeBlanc.

“Our entire team worked hard and effectively to deliver a balanced budget again this year,” added City Manager Jacques Dubé. “All governments are facing fiscal challenges driven by increasing demands for services and lower revenue growth. I would like to thank Council and our staff for their efforts in finding expense reductions and additional income in a very challenging budget.”

Highlights of the 2016 Operating Budget, set at $147,504,678, include:

  • Continuing to do more Capital work out of the Operating Budget (doing more on a ‘pay as you go’ basis rather than borrowing) with a total of $6.8M for Capital out of Operating for the 2016 budget year.
  • Downtown Centre – Deposit an additional $1.6 million received from the federal rebate for RCMP policing into a reserve for the proposed Downtown Centre.
  • Community funding and equalization grant and lower assessment growth– The City will lose an additional $200,000 of community funding and equalization grant funding from the province in 2016. In addition, assessment values only increased by 1.70 % vs 4.33% from 2015. 
  • The cost of RCMP policing increased by $1.8 million or 9.4% from 2015. 
  • Fiscal and debt charges were lower by $.8 million in 2016 as a result of more “pay as you go” philosophy, careful monitoring of capital spending and completion of debt payments from significant projects in years past.
  • Magnetic Hill Zoo – Increased funding for operation of the Zoo including continued development of the Wild Lights program and enhancing the admission and souvenir shop experiences for customers. 
  • Through various initiatives and staff reductions, the City also carved in excess of $3.1M of costs out of the budget to cover budget shortfalls as a result of net impact of reduced unconditional grant funding, assessment base decrease and other increased costs such as the RCMP.
  • Council imposed a wage-freeze for management and non-bargaining employees, saving $150,000.

Highlights of the City’s $39.7 million 2016 Capital Budget include:

  • A $6.8 million contribution from the City’s Operating Budget that will help to reduce the City’s debt financing requirements.  These contributions to the Capital Budget from the Operating Budget have been a strategic priority for the last several years and are helping to reduce the City’s overall borrowing requirements and our debt.
  • Almost $8 million for water and sewer infrastructure improvements and renewal.
  • Over $12 million on road and sidewalk construction and improvement projects.
  • Over $11.1 million on storm sewer construction and improvement projects
  • $4.1 million in recreation and culture expenditures including enhancements to parks, trails, recreation master plan projects, aquatic features in parks, and Magnetic Hill Zoo. 
    Continued development of the Downtown and Riverfront with $400,000 committed towards the enhancement of these areas.
  • $2.0 million allocated towards the replacement of Codiac Transpo’s annual fleet replacement with additional funds committed over the next 4 years.
  • An additional $750,000 in 2016 for a new pumper fire truck for the Fire Department.   

Highlights of the $36.7 million Utility budget (water and wastewater) include:

  • The quarterly water and sewer utility bill for a typical household in Moncton (average household use of 272 cubic metres as defined by the Province of New Brunswick) will increase by $30 or $7.50 on a quarterly bill. These figures are based on an annual bill of $975 or quarterly bill of $243.75 compared to a typical household’s 2015 annual utility bill of $945 or quarterly bill of $236.25.
  • This total also includes a $5 rate increase on the Greater Moncton Waste Water Commission (GMWWC) rate. This increase is as a result of improvements and upgrades at the Greater Moncton Sewerage Commission as well as infrastructure improvements to Moncton’s water distribution system.

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Media contact:
 
Isabelle LeBlanc
Director, Corporate Communications
City of Moncton
506.853.3592 / isabelle.leblanc@moncton.ca