Council approves zero per cent tax increase
Tim Brody - Editor
Sioux Lookout Municipal Council has approved a zero per cent residential property class general tax rate levy.
Council unanimously approved the 2020 budget at its regular meeting on Jan. 15.
The 2020 budget process included special council meetings on Oct. 9, Nov. 27, and Dec. 12.
In her report to council, Treasurer Christy McIntomney shared, “To return with a zero percent tax increase the following direction was given from Council to balance the 2020 budget:
Operating Budget Changes
Donation request from the Salvation Army $1,500
Donation request from Friends of Cedar Bay $10,000
Increase the Library levy by $6,000
Capital Budget Changes- Deleted
Public Washroom Facilities – Centennial Park
Air Conditioner - Travel Information Centre
Cedar Bay Road
Sturgeon River Boat Launch – Docks & Parking Lot
Solar Lighting for all Boat Launches
“The remaining deficit which was estimated to be $18,758 was to be cut from the daily operating budgets.”
McIntomney continued, “In 2020 there was an increase in taxation revenue due to assessment changes. The majority of this revenue was absorbed through increased transfers to the reserves from 2019 to 2020 in the amount of $271,268. Long term debt payments increased in the amount of $61,002 and donations increased in the amount of $17,600.
“After all the adjustments were completed in the operating budget there is a deficit in the amount of $7,244. In order to recover the deficient, this amount was transferred from the 2019 revenues received for being a host community during the 2019 evacuations.”
Sioux Lookout Mayor Doug Lawrance shared with The Bulletin following the Dec. 12 budget meeting, “Following consideration of the second draft budget, and in light of how close that budget was to a zero percent tax rate increase, Council directed Staff to find operational savings of approximately $20,000 to achieve a zero percent tax rate increase. Municipal budgeting is always a delicate balancing act. Council must consider the future as well as the present when directing Staff on the budget. We have done that to the best of our ability.”