Humboldt Saskatchewan City council ultimately decided on a 5.1 per cent increase in the general municipal property tax levy for 2023.
Council made the decision at their budget meeting on Monday, Dec. 5.
Joe Day, Humboldt’s city manager, said the most notable drivers of this increase being due to waste management, policing fees, utility costs, liability insurance and fleet expenses. There were some increases in revenue from the provincial revenue sharing grant, SaskPower and SaskEnergy surcharges, interest revenue and other user fees but ultimately do not make up for the increase in expenses and inflation.
According to Statistics Canada’s Saskatchewan Consumer Price Index, an eight per cent cost of living increase was recorded from October 2021 to October 2022. All municipal governments this year have been under extreme financial stress caused by inflation regarding basic utilities, skyrocketing fuel costs.
Mayor Michael Behiel said, “Council and I support the efforts of Administration into preparing the 2023 budget, undoubtedly, with the rate of inflation, this wouldn’t be an easy task. However, we are able to maintain a balance of services that the City provides without sacrificing programs or placing a burden on taxpayers.”
The largest capital expense approved was the Carl Schenn Storm Water Dry Pond and Piping project. The second project of its type, the retention pond aims to alleviate the pressures on the city’s storm sewer systems during major rainfall events. In particular, it should which should reduce flooding in the subdivision around Barnes Crescent.
The city had concerns in the last three years with approximately three heavy rainstorm events that left water flooding over land and many locals in this particular area of the city concerned about their properties flooding. A consultant was hired to provide options to reduce the over land flooding and this project was chosen as the best way to help provide city storm sewers the relief they need during heavy rainfall events
By Nicole Goldsworthy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Dec 09, 2022