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Moncton City Hall. Image: Tara Clow

Moncton begins budget deliberations Tuesday

By Brad Perry Nov 7, 2023 | 6:52 AM

Moncton city councillors are gearing up for 2024 budget deliberations.

Council will spend the next two days going over the proposed operating and capital budgets.

City staff are proposing a $212-million general operating budget. That is up more than 12 per cent, or nearly $24 million, compared to 2023.

Jacques Doucet, general manager of finance services, told council Monday that they are trying to balance taxpayer affordability with inflationary pressures and rising interest rates.

While Moncton’s assessment base has grown 12.2 per cent over the past year, significant inflation impacts are expected to cost the city around $7 million or $8 million more.

The city will once again be getting fewer dollars from the province of New Brunswick in 2024.

The equalization grant is dropping from $2.5 million down to $1.9 million and it is directly related to the local governance reform process. Core funding is being redirected to the Southeast Regional Service Commission.

Meanwhile, the proposed 2024 water and sewer budget stands at more than $44.5 million, up from $41.3 million in 2023.

Officials said they plan to maintain “steady” rate increases and service levels while addressing inflationary pressures.

Moncton plans to spend more than $61 million on capital projects in 2024. That includes $50.2 million for general capital projects, $5.1 million for sanitary sewer upgrades, and $5.7 million for water upgrades.

Budget deliberations begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday and will continue on Wednesday, if needed.

Final recommendations will be presented during a special public council meeting on Thursday morning.