As happens almost every year, new tax rolls are sent from MPAC into the city which updates our assessment growth numbers. A report has landed on my desk indicating new assessment of $888,287. This will now be used in our 2018 budget to lower the overall base budget. This is great news for taxpayers! It should also be great news for all of Council. Most members of city council I’ve had the opportunity to talk to about the upcoming budget agree with me and do not want an “all in” impact of 4.85% on homeowners and businesses. This lower starting point helps us on the right path to get the 2018 budget lower.
A second report coming forward on Nov 27th for council information is our projected operating variance numbers. It’s also good news. It shows a projected year end variance of $2,384,500. I would suggest that council look at this very seriously and consider using this towards our 2018 budget as well. By doing so, we again would be able to reduce the impact on taxpayers.
Here’s a scenario using the above assessment growth, year end variance and reduced expansions:
New base budget: 1.75%
+ Approving all City expansions: 1.40%
+ Approving all outside board expansions: .25%
Total = 3.40%
– Year end variance $2,384,500 = 1%
– Reduce proposed expansions by $1,300,000 = .5%
New total: 1.9%
This would be something I hope everyone would agree to consider! I’m going to explore it further with staff, my council colleagues and of course you – the citizens and businesses of Guelph!