Wednesday , October 27 2021

Dealing with the brutal budget in St. John



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They warn residents about it for a while and now almost arrived.

The budget of the city of St. John in 2019 decreases on Monday, and is expected to be the doctors.

"If you think 2016 is a tough budget, well, it's better to be ready. 2019 will be harder," said Jonathan Galgai, a former city councilor of St. John, who was in charge of delivering the 2016 budget.

The city warns residents that it faces a deficit of $ 12 million and that tax and milestones rates for homes and businesses will go to the budget from 2019.

Jonathan Galgey, executive director of the George Street Society and former St. John councilor, says the upcoming budget will be tougher than the 2016 budget he provided. (Paula Gail / PSC)

Galgay, now the CEO of the George Street Association, told Morning show of St. John that residents are not the only ones who care about the brutal budget ahead.

"If the city is going to increase taxes, which [they] have already given us an indication that they will go, people will have less disposable income, "he said.

And that means they will be hitting less accounts of bars and restaurants in the warehouse in the center of the core, said Ghalgay.

Taxes, grinding rates go up

In September, the city predicted a fate at the rate of residential stations – currently 7.3 mills – anywhere between 0.4 and 0.6 mills. Based on that forecast, coupled with a reduction in the average estimated value of the property, the city says on the budget engagement website that most residents can expect an "increase in tax of less than $ 10 a month".

The rate of housing rates is expected to increase in the municipal budget on Monday. (City of St. John)

The commercial mill rate, currently 24.7 miles, also expects to jump from one to 1.9 mills, according to the budget primer that was sent to residents this fall.

The $ 12 million deficit is partly due to the latest rubrics to estimate the property. Coun. Dave Lane said this autumn that the average estimate of housing estate was down 4.17 percent, which contributed to forecasting a decline in income from housing and business taxes of about $ 6.4 million.

The city also looks at the sacrificed electricity bill. St. John Mayor Deny Brin said this summer on the PSC news that the city hall expects to increase by $ 1.5 million in 2019.

Galgay said he was worried the industry would not be able to take the hit.

"They are still recovering from 2016."

But the subsidy for Mile One and the Convention Center go?

Residents are not just the hook for higher taxes.

The owner of the Mile One Center and the nearby St. John's Convention Center seeks support from taxpayers in the amount of an additional $ 752,183.

Sports and Entertainment "St. John" says they will need something over $ 3.4 million to cover their bills, an increase of $ 2.65 million this year.

Coun. Sandy Hickman is chairman of the board of sport and entertainment at St. John. (Paula Gail / PSC)

Coun. Sandy Hickman, who chairs the board of SDSM, told Morning show of St. John that the city of St. Johns subsidizes between 20 and 25 percent of the operating costs for Mile One and the convention center, which is not bad compared to other facilities across Canada and around the world."

Moncton gave its Coliseum between 2.1 million and 2.62 million dollars from 2015 to 2017, until it opened its new Avenire Center in September, according to a city official. In 2018, the official said the city would start with $ 3.65 million to the operating costs of both facilities.

The town of Charlotteun predicts a subsidy of 50 percent of the operating costs of its Eastlink Center with a grant of $ 794,000.

Fredericton starts an annual $ 950,000 grant for its convention center, which subsidizes about 57 percent of operating costs.

Hickman says that some of the additional funds required by the SJSE will go towards employing more marketing and development assistance in order to attract more people to the convention center and ultimately reduce your need for taxpayer contributions.

The city also works with a consultant to improve bus service to boost driving, said Jan Frude, adviser to Ward 4. Frood, who works with the city transport committee, said the city subsidizes about 64 percent of Metrobus costs, , worth $ 14 million, and that amount is not scheduled for Monday's budget changes.

The leadership rose a bit this year, Frood said, and the more paid rider increases, the less the city subsidizes the service.

There are ways to help businesses, says Galgay

From the business side, the city says the average commercial estimate is 1.72 percent, which means that if the commercial rate does not decrease, the average business owner will also note the taxes.

Galgay said there are specific things the city and the province could do to ease pressure on businesses in the George Street Association. For example, he said, he would like to see the province increase the minimum price for a drink in bars and restaurants.

He also says it will be a help for those companies if beer is not so readily available in corner shops during the first hours in the city center.

"If you cut those hours, then you may see that people go to bars and restaurants, because they can buy a product there."

As for helping people and businesses outside the George Street cluster, Galgai said the city should consider solutions out of the box for its current financial problems – things like getting the provincial government to stop making Metrobus tax on fuel which uses it.

"And if you have surplus buildings, if you have vacant land, now is the time to sell them and start building those revenues … because it will be difficult."

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