The budget news for Belleville taxpayers is that tax rates will run between 2.5% and 1.2% for 2017.
City councillors studied the draft $107.5 million budget, representing a tax-supported amount of $90.4 million, line by line, and wrapped up the debate early Wednesday afternoon.
There were no major cuts and a few additions.
Mayor Taso Christopher gave credit to staff preparing the budget.
The internal staff budget had a increase of 1.74%, 60% of the overall budget that the city controls.
Mayor Christopher said “the biggest pickle” the city had was the unanticipated realignment of the tax assessment by MPAC which is costing the city $2 million in tax payback to local ratepayers, many of them commercial and industrial. Council did cut a $7,000 increase to the 600,000 MPAC bill as a statement of concern.
He indicated officials of the corporation may be asked to come to Belleville to speak to council and the public on the issue.
Councillor Egerton Boyce says “active transportation is big thing this year” and the addition to transit of one new staff position is one indication.
Mayor Christopher is predicting a good year in 2018 with casino money coming and the sale of some city properties.
The budget represents a tax hike of 2.5% for Belleville Urban taxpayers, or an extra $99.49 on an average $250,000 assessment, 2% for Cannifton Urban Fire ($76.49) or, 2% for Cannifton Rural Fire ($76.49) and 1.2 % for Rural taxpayers ($36.53).