Saturday, 3 December 2016

2017 Budget Coming Soon

Hello Regina!

I know it's been a while since I posted last, but well, I think I earned that break after the hard fought election. While I wasn't successful in my run for City Council, I am pleased with the outcome, as we have a new Councillor in this Ward, as well as a few other new - hopefully very good - councillors in other Wards.

This week, there are a couple Committee meetings that are happening at City Hall. Both are interesting in their own accord, but one that has really grabbed my attention is the Winter Maintenance Budget anticipated surplus for 2016. Thanks to Mother Nature and/or climate change (whether or not you believe in it, I really don't care), we've been granted with extremely little snowfall last year, and so far this year as well. As a result, there is a projected surplus of over $3 Million in this year's Winter Maintenance budget. What does that mean for you and I? Well, it all depends on what City Council decides. I'll be there this week to give my thoughts on this, and I hope that this new Council at least listens to my thoughts that should benefit all of Regina.

The 2017 Budget deliberations are still ongoing, but we, the general public, are being kept in the dark now until February 2017. Why is this necessary? Well, the public excuse is that, with the election, it wouldn't be fair for the new Councillors to just 'jump into' it so fast, which was originally scheduled for December 5, 2016. Of course, this doesn't seem to affect other cities, but well, we here in Regina, we're a special group, apparently. Anyways, it certainly would be nice of the City to at least give the public an idea of what is to come, at the very least let us know how the City is doing with regards to their 2016 budget. Given that every single year for at least the past decade, we've realized pretty big surpluses, it sure would be nice to know if that's the case again this year, as we could put that towards any projected increases in the 2017 Property Tax hikes. You know it's a given the Regina Police Service will ask for their standard 5-6%, even if they don't deserve it, and City Hall knows residents have become accustomed to at least a few percent increase in their property taxes, even if it's not needed. So, the question now becomes, how much, and how can it be reduced?

Only time will tell! Oh, and you really should tune into my Facebook page if you want to keep updated on breaking stories that I don't take the time to post about on here.

For example, did you know, Mr. Brad Wall is playing an interesting game of 'shuffle the deck' where he is (most likely) increasing your property taxes, due to the "Percentage of Value" for property assessments. What does that mean for you? Well, go check out my Facebook page to find out!