Operating budget to receive a tax-increase revision

first_imgCouncillor Byron Stewart said, “Putting money into the reserves is very important, I believe in that, putting money away for a rainy day. But we may be having a rainy day right now.”“I would not classify reserves as ‘rainy day funds,’” Hunter said. “Rainy day funds would be funds that you set aside to deal with the unexpected, and this is not going to be unexpected.”If the reserve transfer was reduced by one per cent, it would shave $280,000 off of the total amount, saying Director of Finances Mike Roy. Dropping the increase to taxes fully would take $560,000 off of that amount.At the end of the discussion, staff were directed to drop the tax increase to one per cent and develop ways for the reserves to be rebuilt with the lowered reserves for 2016.Advertisement FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Still feeling the taxes proposed in the 2016 operating budget are too high, City Council has instead directed staff to rework the draft.The draft presented to Council on Monday presented an increase of 1.98 per cent in taxes, which is dropped from a higher amount before.“While I recognize that the tax increase for an average home we’re looking at is only 37.81, and we’re decreasing the tax rate with this… I’m just wondering what it would take to take it down further,” said Mayor Lori Ackerman.- Advertisement -“This is just a really precarious time for our community, and I know that there’s a lot of people really feeling the impact of not working right now.”Presented with this question, Fort St. John’s City Manager, Dianne Hunter, suggested that Council take a look at reducing the operating budget in programs and services, or rework the policy council carried to reserve a flexible amount to the reserves each year.“I strongly recommend that it not be done by a way of reserves,” she said. “Again, this is where we need to start disciplining ourselves and put money away every year. If there is to be a year of discipline, as far as our reductions, then I would suggest services and programs would be areas that we would like to take a look at and reduce our levels of servicing in certain areas to achieve that.”Advertisementlast_img read more