Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Tax hike riles up residents at budget consultation

City manager Scott Hildebrand takes questions during a budget consultation at city hall on Wednesday night.

JILLIAN AUSTIN/BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

City manager Scott Hildebrand takes questions during a budget consultation at city hall on Wednesday night.

Residents spoke out about skyrocketing property assessments, questioned the need for a youth centre and called on the city to sell Wheat City Golf Course.

Wednesday marked the last public budget consultation on the City of Brandon’s proposed $75.2-million operating budget.

One resident expressed his displeasure with taxes going up every year. The 2014 proposed budget calls for a 2.85 per cent tax hike.

"It appears that every single government that I’ve ever listened to thinks it’s OK," said Dave Carriere. "Three per cent isn’t OK. That means I pay more, that means I get less to do with my money, you get to do more with it. When does it stop? I’m tired. I don’t want to pay more. Why can’t this be zero?"

This comment sparked applause from the crowd, and some citizens began chanting "zero, zero."

City treasurer Dean Hammond gave an overview of the budget, explaining some of the "helps" (such as more properties paying taxes) and "hurts" (such as the PST increase) that led to the proposed budget figures.

Hammond highlighted some of the new proposed costs including Sunday bus service ($143,000), airport operations ($75,000), youth centre ($50,000) and mosquito abatement ($34,000), among others.

New items add up to $921,000.

The average resident with a property assessed at $200,000 will pay roughly $49 more in municipal taxes in 2014 (not including the school portion).

The $75.2-million operating budget is split into seven different categories. The largest portion, 35.6 per cent, goes toward protective services. Infrastructure, which includes snow removal, drainage and maintenance takes up 23.4 per cent.

Support services (human resources, information technology, treasury, etc.) takes up 11 per cent of the budget.

Just under 11 per cent goes to recreation, culture, parks and youth (Sportsplex, YMCA, outdoor pools, etc.), while transit takes up slightly more than seven per cent.

Sanitation and environment comes in at 6.2 per cent, while economic development and affordable housing is 5.9 per cent.

Hammond, along with city manager Scott Hildebrand answered questions from the audience.

Roughly 70 people attended, a majority of whom were city councillors and administration. About 20 to 25 of those were citizens.

One person asked how the city cuts down some of the costs and makes sure they are being efficient.

Hildebrand highlighted several examples of efficiencies, such as focusing on training internally rather than sending staff away. Another example was the city taking over recycling operations, which Hildebrand said they hope to save aOne east end resident spoke out about his property assessment going up by more than $200,000.

"If this keeps up, there’s going to be a lot of us seniors that will be joining the street people because we’ll be taxed right out of our homes," he said. "How are we going to survive?"

Hammond explained that assessment is controlled by the province and suggested contacting the assessment branch to appeal the decision.

Another resident said the $50,000 pegged for the youth centre in the former Convergys building is "money wasted," considering there’s several community centres, the YMCA and the skateboard park nearby.

Perry Roque, director of community services, defended the initiative, saying it is an investment in the future.

"We’re trying to create a centre that meets the needs of the youth," he said. "We’re not looking to duplicate things that are already existing in the community."

Former CFB Shilo base commander John Schneiderbanger urged the mayor and council get rid of the Wheat City Golf Course, what he called a "money pit."

"I wish that the council and the mayor had the fortitude to make some of the hard decisions to make meaningful and lost lasting cuts," he said.

He also suggested council take a hard look at the Handi-Transit deficit.

Residents are still encouraged to weigh in on the 2014 budget by contacting their councillor.

City council will deliberate the budget on Jan. 10 and 11.

One east-end resident spoke out about his property assessment going up by more than $200,000.

"If this keeps up, there’s going to be a lot of us seniors that will be joining the street people because we’ll be taxed right out of our homes," he said. "How are we going to survive?"

Hammond explained that assessment is controlled by the province and suggested contacting the assessment branch to appeal the decision.

Another resident said the $50,000 pegged for the youth centre in the former Convergys building is "money wasted," considering there’s several community centres, the YMCA and the skateboard park nearby.

Perry Roque, director of community services, defended the initiative, saying it is an investment in the future.

"We’re trying to create a centre that meets the needs of the youth," he said. "We’re not looking to duplicate things that are already existing in the community."

Former CFB Shilo base commander John Schneiderbanger urged the mayor and council get rid of the Wheat City Golf Course, what he called a "money pit."

"I wish that the council and the mayor had the fortitude to make some of the hard decisions to make meaningful and lost lasting cuts," he said.

He also suggested council take a hard look at the Handi-Transit deficit.

Residents are still encouraged to weigh in on the 2014 budget by contacting their councillor.

City council will deliberate the budget on Jan. 10 and 11.

» jaustin@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 12, 2013

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 2 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

Everybody wants their money for nothing and their chicks for free...

Sad when citizens ask for some of their money but get this kind of crap!

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Residents spoke out about skyrocketing property assessments, questioned the need for a youth centre and called on the city to sell Wheat City Golf Course.

Wednesday marked the last public budget consultation on the City of Brandon’s proposed $75.2-million operating budget.

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

Residents spoke out about skyrocketing property assessments, questioned the need for a youth centre and called on the city to sell Wheat City Golf Course.

Wednesday marked the last public budget consultation on the City of Brandon’s proposed $75.2-million operating budget.

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Submit a Random Act of Kindness
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media