Cornwall ON – City Administration presented the first draft of the 2011 Budget to the Budget Steering Committee this morning. This initial submission details what it would cost to run the City assuming no changes in programs and services from the previous year. This proposal was prepared in response to the direction received from Council on December 7, 2010.
The initial budget figures represent a slight decrease in the overall budget for the City to $140.7 million from $141.9 million in 2010. However due to the changes in assessment, funding formulas and other factors, the average taxpayer would see an increase of over 5% on their tax bill.
“Our goal is to minimize the impact on the taxpayer, yet maintain a reasonable level of programs and services for our residents,” said Councillor Denis Carr, Chair of the Budge Steering Committee. “We have directed administration to come back with a new budget that would see no more than a 2% increase as a place to start.”
A motion was passed at the meeting providing new direction for Administration to recommend changes that will result in a reduction in the tax rate by 2.24%. This reduction would partially offset the impact of higher assessed values within the community as a result of the re-assessment that was completed by MPAC in November 2008. The MPAC re-assessment saw increases in property values that will be phased in over 4 years (approximately 4% per year). As such, a 2.24% decrease in the tax rate translates into an average 1.7% increase in average taxes paid.
“The budget process is just beginning, and there are a number of complex factors that have to be accounted for – for example, cutting expenses in one area may also result in cuts in revenues from the province,” commented Paul Fitzpatrick, Chief Administrative Officer. “All City managers are committed to the common goal of finding every efficiency in their departmental operations.”
The Budget Steering Committee will meet again on February 4, 2011 to review proposed recommendations presented by Administration.
The City welcomes any questions or comments regarding the 2011 Budget at the following email address:firstname.lastname@example.org .