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Council Could Pass Budget Tonight

By Adam Riley Feb 6, 2023 | 6:43 PM

If Thunder Bay city council passes the 2023 budget in its current state tonight, it would mark the largest tax levy increase in years.

The current levy rate before council is 4.48% after growth, for comparison here are what the rates have been for the past five years.

2018 – 3.13%
2019 – 1.98%
2020 – 1.89%
2021 – 1.83%
2022 – 2.36%

Council has spent the last four weeks whittling and chipping trying to find savings to lower the budget from its initial 5.58% increase announced on January 4th.

Council was first urged by members of the public, including the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, to keep the tax levy low, at a pre-budget deputation meeting prior to review meetings.

A goal was set by council on January 17th of 4% with $1.3 million added back into the capital budget, requiring more than $4 million dollars in savings to be found.

Discussions at the final meeting, where the 4.48% was secured, went late and saw some fighting passionately to save projects from the chopping block.

Additionally council will be looking at a number of items tonight during the Committee of the Whole meeting which precedes the main council meeting.

Those items include:

  • Continued discussions on photo radar, introduced in 2021
  • A request deferral of the “Work from Home” policy, which staff is asking to be pushed back to March 27th
  • An update on the 2024 Ontario Winter Games, which the city will be hosting next year, specifically it is being recommended an organizing committee be established.

Tonight’s meeting getting underway at 6:30 p.m.



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