The City of Brandon’s proposed 2017 budget calls for a municipal tax increase of 2.95 per cent.
For an average homeowner with a property assessed in the $250,000 range, this would mean a $53 increase on their tax bills next year.
But as city treasurer Dean Hammond explains, the proposed budget numbers will likely change as city council deliberates next month.
"They can add or delete items or change items as they see fit, so typically the number that we give them usually changes," Hammond said.
The 2017 proposed budget documents are now available online at brandon.ca/budget/proposed-2017-budget. Hammond admits it is a bit hard to navigate through the files, but points people to Section 3 (General Fund), to see each city department’s proposed budget.
Under Section 5, the city’s proposed capital budgets are listed.
"This shows where we’re focusing our capital expenditures for this year and future years as well," he said.
Hammond will present an overview at the next city council meeting on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. Then, on Jan. 11, Hammond will present at the city’s public budget forum at city hall from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The total operating budget proposed is $82.8 million, an increase of $2 million from 2016.
"I’ll be talking more about this at the public forum," Hammond said. "Costs always increase every year, and … we add new items into the budget."
The evening forum will include a question-and-answer session led by members of Brandon City Council. Mayor Rick Chrest and councillors will be asking for feedback, as well as where the public would like council to focus its future spending priorities.
"In the past, typically these forums, there’s fairly low attendance at them," Hammond said. "But I would stress that this is the public’s opportunity to come out and give their feedback to council."
Following the public budget forum, city council will deliberate the 2017 proposed budget on Jan. 20 and Jan. 21 in council chamber and is open to the public.
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