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Saskatoon city council approves 2022-23 property tax hike

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WATCH: Saskatoon city council passed its 2022-23 budget and finalized property tax increase for those years – Dec 2, 2021

Property taxes are on the rise in Saskatoon.

The mill rate will rise 3.86 per cent in 2022 and 3.5 per cent 2023 after city council passed a new budget for the next two years on Wednesday.

The increase will cost the average homeowner an extra $6.27 a month next year and an extra $5.87 a month in 2023.

Read more: City of Saskatoon releases preliminary budget for next 2 years

Ward 5 Coun. Randy Donauer had sought to reduce the overall increase by half a percentage point.

“This is a very tough year for our residents. Tougher than it’s been on city hall, I guess I’ll say it that way,” he said.

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Administration always said they were trying to balance providing services with the costs of COVID 19 as the tax rate crept up.

City manager Jeff Jorgensen said it’s impossible to cut that amount without decreasing services.

He said things have gotten to a point that he would describe as a “fee for service budget.”

“For every dollar spent in that budget, you’re buying a very specific thing,” he said. “There’s no room to cut without impacts.”

Read more: Saskatoon SPCA asks city for new funding structure to stay open next year

That may have swayed the majority of councillors who voted against the decrease.

Councillors passed most items with little debate early on, essentially saving all of it for Wednesday night.

They finally passed the budget 8-3 after 21 hours of deliberations.

Police will get 12 more employees in the next two years, officers who will help patrol the east side and office workers who will help reduce the workload on constables.

The fire department will get funding for five new firefighters, new bylaw inspectors and various administration staff.

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The Public Library, Remai Modern, SaskTel Centre and TCU Place all got what they asked for — millions of dollars in funding.

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