NORTH BAY -- An official with the City of North Bay, Gord Young, says a proposed levy increase of 5.7 per cent has been reduced to an even 5 per cent, following a budget meeting Wednesday night.

The proposed tax increase was being considered to cover operating costs and would potentially bring in over an additional $5 million.  

Young says the city is holding another budget meeting Thursday night to discuss and the number is "likely to change again."

The city's current total 2019 operating budget was $89.3 million.

Currently, city officials are beginning to reviewing the staff-recommended operating budget for 2020. Mayor Al McDonald says the proposed 5.7 per cent tax levy increase included in the budget that was presented to council Tuesday was a ‘starting point.’

The budget proposal includes:

  • about $4.2 million in increases for municipal departments, including $1.5 million in government activities
  • $483,000 in corporate services,
  • $513,000 in infrastructure and operations
  • $1.9-million increase in spending for service partners that include: city police, the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board, the health unit, Cassellholme, and the library.

McDonald says it includes a number of suggested enhancements tabled by council members and the public.

The mayor also says all suggestions will be considered as part of deliberations that will be taking place between now and mid-December.

An approval for next year's budget is expected by December 10. 

"Infrastructure investment represents 2.31 per cent of the proposed tax levy increase, while 2.41 per cent is represented by contributions toward our service partners’ budgets," says McDonald. "The proposed budget looks to maintain current service levels and continue investments in infrastructure, including the redevelopment of Cassellholme."

McDonald goes on to say that he was against the 5.7 per cent tax levy increase, but wants to stress that deliberations are just getting underway and that nothing has been finalized.