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Council approves first multi-year budget: invests in core services, future infrastructure, quality of life

For immediate release: November 28, 2019 - 2:11pm

Following three days of presentations, questions, and debate of the City’s first Multi-Year Business Plan and Budget, Mayor Charlie Clark and City Council have finalized the budget investments for 2020/2021. City Council’s Strategic Priorities, Strategic Plan and public input guided the multi-year budget process.
Notable Multi-Year Budget Investment Highlights

City Council started its budget review with a property tax increase of 3.14 per cent in 2020 and 3.52 per cent in 2021. City Council made several adjustments and adopted various options to minimize tax increases to ensure citizens would receive maximum benefits for their tax dollars invested for 2020 and 2021.

The municipal property tax has been finalized at 3.70 per cent for 2020 (the lowest increase in 10 years) and 3.87 per cent for 2021. In 2020, 1 per cent of the property tax is equivalent to $2.45 million, and $2.56 million in 2021.

Multi-Year Budget Property Tax Rates for Residential Property Owners

For a homeowner with a property assessment value of $371,000, in 2020, the 3.70 per cent increase equates to $5.82 per month or $69.87 for the year. In 2021, the 3.87 per cent increase equates to $6.28 per month or $75.35 for the year.

City Council Considered Various Budget Options

Approximately $19.0 million in funding was available to advance City Council’s priority projects in 2020 and 2021 comprised of: a one-time doubling of the Federal Gas Tax in 2019, available Reserve for Capital Expenditure (RCE) funding in 2020 and 2021, and funding from the Multi-Material Stewardship Western (MMSW) Program in 2020.

City Council had the option to allocate these funds based on its earlier prioritization results or retain any amount of reserve funds in anticipation of future needs or initiatives not yet identified.

At the recommendation of the Administration, $242,000 was left in reserves to be utilized for future contingency or other emerging issues. Notable capital investments include:

  • $10.0 million in 2020 for the Curbside Organics Program
  • $2.0 million in 2020 and $800,000 in 2021 for Growth Plan implementation and Corridor Planning/Infill Development
  • $180,000 in 2020 for continued work on an intelligent transportation system that communicates rail crossing delays to first responders
  • $150,000 in 2020 for a Downtown Stimulus Strategy
  • $150,000 in both 2020 and in 2021 to make measurable progress on Green Infrastructure implementation

Operating Budget Adjustments

  • A total of $1.8 million was phased-in for Asset Management Plans for Bridges, Parks and Sidewalks
  • $175,000 increase for Transit expansion into Rosewood in 2020, and $175,000 to expand Transit into Brighton in 2021
  • $250,000 increase for the Low Emissions Community Plan
  • ​$178,900 increase for various items such as increases to the funding agreements with Saskatoon Crisis Intervention Services and Wanuskewin, dust issues on Beef Research Road, the Recreation Game Plan, anti-racism initiatives and Culture Plan implementation

This first Multi-Year Business Plan and Budget for 2020 and 2021 is an important first step to further improving the City’s strategic investments, transparency and ongoing accountability. City Council’s investment decisions in the priorities and services that matter most to citizens will ensure Saskatoon continues to be a great place to live, work, learn and play.

The finalized 2020/2021 Multi-Year Business Plan and Budget document will be on as soon as it is available.