Watch the video above: city councillors approve 7.43 per cent property tax hike
SASKATOON – Homeowners in Saskatoon will have to dig a bit deeper in 2014 to pay for property taxes.
On Wednesday, councillors approved a 7.43 per cent tax hike, the largest increase in decades, and slightly higher than the 7.26 per cent increase originally proposed.
That works out to an increase of $108 annually for a house assessed at $325,000.
The increase is due to the addition of traffic sound walls, something council felt was important.
“It was just time to deal with it,” said Ward 3 Councillor Ann Iwanchuk.
“I can’t tell people that they have to wait for 30 to 70 years to have a sound attenuation wall.”
Construction will be fast-tracked and the city was given approval to take out a $15.5 million loan for the project.
The police budget, at $77.5 million, was also approved.
Five new constables will hired next year and one new missing persons coordinator and a human resources position will also be filled.
An extra $13.8 million has been allocated for road repaving, patching pot hole and plowing every city street twice a year if needed.
In total, the 2014 city budget comes in at more than $773 million.