February 1, 2016 - The proposed 2016 Municipal Budget documents prepared by City Administration were released today and form the starting point for City Council's detailed review.

If the proposed 2016 Budget were approved as presented, existing taxpayers would be asked to fund an increase in the net tax levy of $6.5 million or 3.83 per cent. Council has started a three-year budget planning process and has given direction for a three-year average, upper-limit increase of 3.2 per cent with options to bring the increase down to 2.8 and 2.5 per cent average (2016-2018). While achieving the budget direction average for the three years, 2016 is starting higher as a result of the major factors indicated below.

"It is important to remember that the proposed Budget, while it is in keeping with the budget direction set by City Council, is a starting point and changes are inevitable as Council proceeds with its detailed review," said Councillor Frank Pullia, Chair, Committee of the Whole - Administrative Services.

Major Factors impacting the proposed 2016 Municipal Budget include:

  • Stabilization measures including winter control, legal fees, Reserve Fund contributions etc. - $2.2 million
  • Revenue reductions including penalties & interest, and McKellar Mall - $1.4 million
  • Debenture payment (capital projects) increase - $1.0 million
  • Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund Provincial grant reduction - $0.9 million
  • Staffing increases in Homes for the Aged - Pioneer/Jasper, Superior North EMS, Thunder Bay Police Service - $0.9 million
  • Significant increases related to energy costs, and snow removal for Transit - $0.3 million
  • These major drivers were partially offset by reductions made to Operations ($0.2 million) and Capital ($1.6 million).

The proposed 2016 Net Operating budget of $212.7 million is up $8.9 million or 4.4% over 2015. The proposed 2016 Net Capital budget of $18.7 million is down $1.6 million or 8.0% over 2015.

Key Dates in the Budget process:

  • Tuesday, Feb 2 Long-Term Financial Overview, City Hall, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm start
  • Thursday, Feb 4    Learn More & Discuss What the Budget Means for You: Public Pre-Budget Session,
    6:30 pm, at the 55 Plus Centre, 700 River St
  • Tuesday, Feb 9 Public Pre-Budget Deputation Meeting at City Hall, Council Chambers, 6:30 pm start [Walk-in speakers will be heard in the order of their arrival - a sign-in sheet will be available. Powerpoint presentations will not be permitted.]
  • Feb 11,17, & 25    Council Budget Review at City Hall, 5:30 pm start
  • Monday, Feb 29 Expected date of final approval of the Budget

The proposed 2016 Capital and Operating Budgets and Community Handbook are now available online at www.thunderbay.ca/budget and at the Waverley and Brodie Library branches.

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Contacts: Councillor Frank Pullia, Chair, Committee of the Whole - Administrative Services, 630-0062
                  Rob Colquhoun, Acting General Manager - Corporate Services & Long Term Care, 625-2241