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Moncton Budget Includes Tax Cuts, Higher Policing Costs

By Allan Dearing Nov 10, 2022 | 6:00 PM

Inflation had a big impact on the City of Moncton’s 2023 budget.

City councillors approved a balanced operating budget of $189.3 million, a utility budget of $41.3 million and a capital budget of $76 million during a special meeting on Thursday after two days of deliberations.

Residential ratepayers are getting a break next year after council decided to reduce the property tax rate from $1.5472 per hundred dollars of assessed value to $1.4443, a reduction of 10.29 cents.

“The City’s overall tax base increased by an unprecedented 15.4 per cent for 2023,” noted Jacques Doucet, Moncton Finance Services General Manager.

“We have already surpassed our growth record this year, with $357 million in building permits as of Oct. 31. That continued strong growth is reflected in the increase to our tax base, as is increasing property values. This gave us some flexibility to provide the services residents need while reducing the tax rate to help mitigate increases in property taxes resulting from higher assessments.”

Commercial (non-residential) tax rates will be $2.3629 per $100 of assessment, or 1.6360 times the residential rate which is an increase but it will be offset by a decrease in provincial rates.

Water and sewer rates will be frozen next year.

One of the more contentious issues during discussions was the higher cost of policing.

Council approved a $4.3 million increase to the Codiac Regional Policing Authority (CRPA) budget which includes $2.95 million for higher RCMP contract costs and $1.35 million to add staff members.

CRPA chairperson Don Moore told council the current staffing level is inadequate and the authority plans to hire five new police officers and two new civilians.

Over the next three years, 25 staff members will be added for a roster of 150.

Moncton will be getting less money from the province of New Brunswick in 2023.

The equalization grant was $3.2 million but it has been reduced by 60 percent to $2.6 million.

The lost funding of almost $645,000 will be redirected to the Southeast Regional Service Commission for its increased responsibilities under local governance reforms.

Operating Budget additional highlights:

  • Residents in the Moncton Local Service District, who will be incorporated into the City of Moncton as of January 1, 2023 as part of provincial local governance reforms, will see their tax rate increase by five cents to a total of $0.9158 per $100 of assessment ($0.5043 to the City of Moncton and $0.4115 to the Province of New Brunswick).
  • The City’s debt ratio is projected to be 11.2 per cent at the end of 2023, well below the 20 per cent limit allowed by the Municipal Capital Borrowing Board. The projected debt by year-end for the general operating fund is $106.4 million.
  • The City is funding several projects related to climate mitigation, including a clean energy program feasibility study, an electric vehicle transition study as well as an electric bus pilot project and is hiring an active transportation coordinator.
  • Council approved an additional $520,000 to support and improve the City’s snow clearing operations.
  • $1.2 million was set aside to support the City’s Public Safety Action Plan, which includes the costs of doubling the number of community officers; an additional $100,000 was earmarked to update the City’s Social Inclusion Plan; and a further $100,000 is dedicated to managing the costs of vandalism and theft.
  • Funding of $160,000 to support diversity, equity, and inclusion training as well as to hire a manager of diversity, equity, inclusion, and organizational support was also approved.
  • The City is contributing $4.6 million in grants to local organizations in 2023.

Capital Budget ($76 million) highlights:

  • $30 million for water, sewer, and storm sewer construction and upgrades
  • $34.5 million for roadwork
  • $3.9 million for facilities construction and improvements
  • $1.4 million for venue improvements, including work at the Coliseum Agrena and the Moncton Market
  • $3.1 million for work on parks and trails
  • $2.2 million in tourism, culture, and events-related projects, including improvements to Magnetic Hill Zoo facilities and library upgrades
  • $1.7 million for Codiac Transpo to fund an electric bus and a charging station

To control debt, $8.4 million from the Operating Budget will be put toward Capital Budget projects.

The City also seeks external funding and leverages recovery programs from third parties and other levels of government.

The City will borrow $16.7 million to fund capital projects in 2023.

Utility Budget ($41.3 million) highlights:

  • Utility rates will stay the same for 2023. Based on the average of 272 cubic metres of usage per year, a typical household will pay $1,086 for water and sewer services.


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