Corner Brook Budget 2018: Moving Forward Together
The Corner Brook Municipal Budget was presented tonight at a Public Council meeting and approved unanimously by Council.
Revenues and expenditures are balanced at $35,059,600. This represents an increase of $412,300 or 1.19% over the 2017 budget.
Key themes in Budget 2018 include:
- No increase in the mil rate, no increased fees
- Increased transparency & better communication with citizens
- Taking the lead in economic development and tourism
- Responsible fiscal and asset management
- Investing in infrastructure and recreation
- Phasing out of poll tax
No Increase in the Mil Rate
Taxation Mil rates remain unchanged for 2018 and no new fees or charges were identified for the upcoming year for property or business tax rates despite cost increases.
Minimal Expenditure Increases-Lean budget
- Council is estimating a 1.2% increase in expenditures
- Labour will increase by 2.3%, while all other expense will only increase by 0.4%.
- We expect over $250,000 in increased garbage tipping fees for next year
Increased Transparency & Better Communication with Citizens
The City of Corner Brook is taking measures to become more transparent and open. Council is immediately establishing new community committees: the Accessibility and Inclusive Community Committee and the Community Services Committee. In the coming months, it is expected that Council will establish similar committees for business, community & recreation, arts and the environment. In addition, Council will become more transparent, making changes to publish all background materials with the agendas.
Taking the Lead in Economic Development and Tourism
We are establishing an Economic Development Strategy Committee comprised of local subject matter experts with administrative support from the City. This committee will reach out into the community to build a shared vision of where our economy needs to go in the coming years, with measurable, actionable recommendations.
The City will also pursue the development of a tourism strategy. This strategy will be created through an industry-driven process at minimal cost to the taxpayers of Corner Brook.
Responsible Fiscal and Asset Management
Council is determined to work with staff in an effort to ensure that every taxpayer dollar is used in the most productive manner possible. While we are confident there are opportunities for savings and efficiencies, we are equally confident that many areas of the City are operating in an effective and efficient manner. With the support of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities we are working towards an asset management strategy that will enable us to get the most from our buildings, roads and water systems.
Investing in Infrastructure and Recreation
The City of Corner Brook is continuing with its program of separating the sanitary and storm systems as a part of a phased initiative towards full sewage treatment in accordance with Government of Canada wastewater regulations. In 2018, we will continue to move forward with work on the lower West Valley Road.
- With the help of the provincial and federal governments, the City will be investing $3 million in street resurfacing
- $4.8 million is committed to the Main Street bridge project, estimated completion is – 2018
- The City is prepared to commit $500,000 in capital funding towards renovations at Jubilee field, pending successful federal and provincial funding
- The City will move forward with plans to create a splash pad
Phasing Out of Poll Tax
In Budget 2018, the exemption limit for poll tax will be raised to $22,500—an amount roughly double the current exception amount. This will provide relief to those who can least afford to pay the tax. It is estimated that this measure will reduce the total number of people paying poll tax by approximately 20-25%. Council is beginning to phase out the poll tax.
External agencies, business, and the public are invited to review the budget documents. The 2018 budget is available at:
Budget Highlights: Summary Budget highlights
Corporate Priorities Plan: http://www.cornerbrook.com/reports-and-publications
Information Officer, City of Corner Brook
December 18, 2017: For Immediate Release