City of Moncton reduces tax rate, invests in services and climate mitigation 2022-11-10
Moncton City Council’s 2023 budget both reduced the residential tax rate and invested additional funds in key services such as snow clearing, community safety, social issues, environmental initiatives, and recreational activities.
The tax rate decreased from $1.5472 per hundred dollars of assessed value to $1.4443, a reduction of 10.29 cents. The rate also dropped by 10.25 cents in 2022. Council approved the budget at a special public council meeting on Nov. 10.
“The City’s overall tax base increased by an unprecedented 15.4 per cent for 2023,” says General Manager, Finance Services Jacques Doucet. “We have already surpassed our growth record this year, with $357 million in building permits as of Oct. 31. That continued strong growth is reflected in the increase to our tax base, as is increasing property values. This gave us some flexibility to provide the services residents need while reducing the tax rate to help mitigate increases in property taxes resulting from higher assessments.”
Council held two days of public deliberations on Nov. 8 and 9 before adopting the final budget, which includes three separate budgets:
- Operating Budget — funds municipal programs and services
- Utility Operating Budget — funds the provision of water and wastewater services
- Capital Budget — funds new construction and updates to existing infrastructure
Highlights of the 2023 Operating Budget ($189.3 million)
- The tax rate will decrease by more than 10 cents to $1.4443 per $100 of assessment. Residents in the Moncton Local Service District, who will be incorporated into the City of Moncton as of Jan. 1, 2023 as part of the province’s local governance reform, will see their tax rate increase by five cents to a total of $0.9158 per $100 of assessment ($0.5043 to the City of Moncton and $0.4115 to the Province of New Brunswick.)
- Non-residential (commercial) tax rates will be $2.3629 per $100 of assessment, or 1.6360 times the residential rate. This is the first year municipalities have been allowed to vary the rate from 1.4 to 1.7 times the residential rate. In previous years, the non-residential rate was set at 1.5 times the residential rate. The increase will be offset by a decrease in provincial rates.
- The City’s debt ratio is projected to be 11.2 per cent at the end of 2023, well below the 20 per cent limit allowed by the Municipal Capital Borrowing Board. The projected debt by year-end for the general operating fund is $106.4 million.
- The City is funding several projects related to climate mitigation, including a clean energy program feasibility study, an electric vehicle transition study, as well as an electric bus pilot project, and is hiring an active transportation coordinator.
- Council approved an additional $520,000 to support and improve the City’s snow clearing operations.
- $1.2 million was set aside to support the City’s Public Safety Action Plan, which includes the costs of doubling the number of community officers; an additional $100,000 was earmarked to update the City’s Social Inclusion Plan; and a further $100,000 is dedicated to managing the costs of vandalism and theft.
- Moncton’s share of policing costs rose by $4.3 million. This includes $2.95 million for increased RCMP contract costs and $1.35 million to hire an additional five police officers and two civilian staff to increase community policing resources, primarily in downtown Moncton, as well as to ensure 24-7 access to support services for incidents that require social supports.
- Funding of $160,000 to support diversity, equity, and inclusion training as well as to hire a manager of diversity, equity, inclusion, and organizational support was also approved.
- The City is contributing $4.6 million in grants to local organizations in 2023.
Highlights of the 2023 Capital Budget ($76 million)
- $30 million for water, sewer, and storm sewer construction and upgrades
- $34.5 million for roadwork
- $3.9 million for facilities construction and improvements
- $1.4 million for venue improvements, including work at the Coliseum Agrena and the Moncton Market
- $3.1 million for work on parks and trails
- $2.2 million in tourism, culture, and events-related projects, including improvements to Magnetic Hill Zoo facilities and library upgrades
- $1.7 million for Codiac Transpo to fund an electric bus and a charging station
To control debt, $8.4 million from the Operating Budget will be put toward Capital Budget projects. The City also seeks external funding and leverages recovery programs from third parties and other levels of government. The City will borrow $16.7 million to fund capital projects in 2023.
Highlights of the 2023 Utility Budget ($41.3 million)
- Utility rates will stay the same for 2023. Based on the average of 272 cubic metres of usage per year, a typical household will pay $1,086 for water and sewer services.
Communications, City of Moncton