On Monday February 6th, the Draft Financial Plan for the Town of Sidney was presented to council with a grand total of spending expected to be $16.6 million.
Given that inflation at the time of creating the Draft Financial Plan was at 6.96%, and budgetary items increased almost across the board, a 4.93% proposed increase to property taxes has been included to supplement this year’s budgetary needs.
Sidney staffers say this will equate to around $81 per year for the average household, or $6.75 per month.
In addition to this proposed increase to property taxes, the 2023 to 2027 plan has a projected property tax increase for 2024 slated at 7.99%.
According to the Town of Sidney, the reasons for these increases are external economic pressures, the current global economic landscape, regional competition, increasing expectations from residents and other cost pressures.
Sidney says that it’s a priority to keep taxes affordable for businesses and residents alike; however, the needs of the municipality need to be addressed and during the budget process, choices must be made.
Some notable increases were the RCMP’s budget increasing by $253,300 from last year. The RCMP’s budget makes up 16% of the drafted budget making it the second highest expense on the town’s behalf.
Public works and general government spending made up 20% and 14% of the budget respectively — which when combined with the RCMP budget, makes up 50% of Sidney’s budget.
The other half of the budget is to be split between fire and emergency services (10%), parks (8%), municipal reserves (13%), community support (6%), planning, building and bylaw (8%), debt servicing (2%), other costs (2%) and lastly, capital gains (1%).
From here, the Town of Sidney’s council will meet again regarding the budget on February 27th for further consideration and then deliberations will begin on March 7th.