Saskatoon’s city council finished budget deliberations on Wednesday evening, voting through items that raise the property tax increase to 3.7 per cent and 3.87 per cent in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
This means a Saskatoon resident with a house worth $371,000, the average house cost in the city, will pay an additional $69.87 per year in 2020 and $75.35 in 2021.
The additions came from capital project items, like allocating $440,000 for bridge assessments and $250,000 for the Low Emissions Community Plan in 2020.
The Wanuskewin Heritage Park will receive $14,700 next year, the first funding increase the park has received since 1997, according to their presentation on Monday.
“This is a very small gesture — it was a very small ask — with big impact,” said Coun. Zach Jeffries.
The council also voted to give $10 million to the curbside organics program.
“I hear from people that they believe we do need to make decisions for the future. This is about not just making decisions within one election cycle but making the right decision for future generations,” said Clark.
Ward 9 Coun. Bev Dubois said she’s heard something different from residents.
“They don’t have enough money. Everything is going up — groceries, fuel, school supplies. Everything is going up so folks can’t do it anymore.”
She voted against most of the capital project items and against the budget itself, saying it was “too rich.”
The votes concluded the 2020 and 2021 budget talks. It was the first time the city planned for two years with one budget. The votes determined the funding for 2020 and the priorities for 2021, though any funding can still be changed.
City elections are scheduled to take place before the 2021 budget will be voted through.
Deliberations took nearly 22 hours over three days.