(Thursday, April 28, 2011) — This afternoon, Halifax Regional Council passed the 2011/12 Operating and Capital/Project budgets for the Halifax Regional Municipality. The proposed budget is balanced, recommends no residential tax rate increase and focuses resources on Council’s key priorities, including infrastructure and transit.
The approved budget includes $758 million for Operating (a 4.3% increase over 2010/2011) and a gross Capital/Project Budget of $145 million (a 7.6% decrease from 2010/2011). Excluding new services, the overall growth rate of the 2011/12 budget works out to be 2.3% per home.
Mayor Peter Kelly is confident that citizens will be encouraged by the budget’s emphasis on economic growth and community investment without any increase to the tax rate.
“This budget clearly reflects Council’s direction to maintain the tax rate, further invest in transit and enhance services to our citizens as efficiently as possible,” said Mayor Kelly.
The general rates of taxation on residential property will be set at:
• $0.7088 for the urban area
• $0.6918 for the suburban area
• $0.6850 for the rural area
The general rates of taxation on commercial and business occupancy will be set at:
• $3.274 for the urban area
• $3.274 for the suburban area
• $2.928 for the rural area
Tax rates associated with Transit Tax be set at:
• $0.051 for the Regional Transportation tax rate
• $0.105 for the Local Transit tax rate
Continued investment in transit for the upcoming year includes the new Dartmouth bridge terminal, the addition of urban express routes, and the new route 90 Larry Uteck, which will serve the growing high-density development along Larry Uteck Boulevard. In total, Metro Transit will be introducing 17,000 new hours of service.
Citizens can also expect to see progress on major capital projects such as the Halifax Central Library and establishment of the permanent skating oval on the Halifax Common.
The approved budget is focused on controlling expenditure growth, which will be accomplished through ongoing process improvements, service reviews and operating efficiencies. For example, overtime has been adjusted by 20% across most of the organization.
For more information on the 2011/12 budget please visit: www.halifax.ca/budget