Budget 2022 and beyond

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Consultation has concluded

Text - Preparing for Budget 2019-2021. Our City Our Future with logo

The City is planning for its 2022 budget and has moved to a new budget cycle to better reflect changes to the assessment cycle (now required every two years by provincial legislation). The City will focus on 2022 for its budget engagement but forecasting will also be completed for 2023-2025.

While the City's strategic directions outlined in Our City, Our Future, were affirmed in the 2020 Citizen Satisfaction survey (a statistically valid survey completed every two years), 2021 is also a review year for the City's strategic plan goals as a new Council is elected this year.

The economy of the City and the entire province continues to shift as the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic continues. There has been a slight decrease in assessed values of property (around 4.5 % for residential and 2.6 % for commercial) and while the City's annual budget increases have hovered around 1.2 %, some of the City's operating costs for 2022 are expected to increase in areas such as fleet and debt servicing (payment on borrowing for capital projects).

The City has made progress against its current strategic plan and has other plans and strategies in various stages such as climate/sustainability, healthy cities, economic development, envision, and affordable housing, all of which have been built with feedback from the public, aligned with strategic directions, and focus on quality of life and the City's vision for the future.

The City has been working aggressively to find ways to operate more efficiently (from program review in 2016 to our current continuous improvement efforts) and Council is committed to keeping our human resources costs under control and focusing on stability through partnerships with community and government organizations.

However, with the changes to the economy and the reduction in assessed values for 2022, and to balance the budget (a requirement by law) without a decrease in services, at this time the City is projecting residential and commercial mil rate increases to offset those costs.

Review the materials on this page including the video and fact sheets. Check out the property tax calculator to see what changes in a mil rate could mean for your household’s municipal tax bill for 2022. Use the Tax Receipt tool to see how your tax dollars are currently being spent to deliver the programs and services residents value.

Engage in discussion below, sign up for a community meeting later in the fall (check back for key dates), ask a question, do a quick poll. Alternatively, you can send your feedback directly to engage@stjohns.ca or call 311 to speak to a member of the project team.

The City is planning for its 2022 budget and has moved to a new budget cycle to better reflect changes to the assessment cycle (now required every two years by provincial legislation). The City will focus on 2022 for its budget engagement but forecasting will also be completed for 2023-2025.

While the City's strategic directions outlined in Our City, Our Future, were affirmed in the 2020 Citizen Satisfaction survey (a statistically valid survey completed every two years), 2021 is also a review year for the City's strategic plan goals as a new Council is elected this year.

The economy of the City and the entire province continues to shift as the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic continues. There has been a slight decrease in assessed values of property (around 4.5 % for residential and 2.6 % for commercial) and while the City's annual budget increases have hovered around 1.2 %, some of the City's operating costs for 2022 are expected to increase in areas such as fleet and debt servicing (payment on borrowing for capital projects).

The City has made progress against its current strategic plan and has other plans and strategies in various stages such as climate/sustainability, healthy cities, economic development, envision, and affordable housing, all of which have been built with feedback from the public, aligned with strategic directions, and focus on quality of life and the City's vision for the future.

The City has been working aggressively to find ways to operate more efficiently (from program review in 2016 to our current continuous improvement efforts) and Council is committed to keeping our human resources costs under control and focusing on stability through partnerships with community and government organizations.

However, with the changes to the economy and the reduction in assessed values for 2022, and to balance the budget (a requirement by law) without a decrease in services, at this time the City is projecting residential and commercial mil rate increases to offset those costs.

Review the materials on this page including the video and fact sheets. Check out the property tax calculator to see what changes in a mil rate could mean for your household’s municipal tax bill for 2022. Use the Tax Receipt tool to see how your tax dollars are currently being spent to deliver the programs and services residents value.

Engage in discussion below, sign up for a community meeting later in the fall (check back for key dates), ask a question, do a quick poll. Alternatively, you can send your feedback directly to engage@stjohns.ca or call 311 to speak to a member of the project team.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Check out the fact sheets, infographics, video and other tools. Can't find the answer you are looking for? Post your question here and someone will get back to you in a few days. 

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    Could you provide your definition of which services count as "core" and which as "quality of life"? The discussion topic references this but doesn't lay out what lands where. Thanks!

    JoshSmee asked 12 months ago

    The City does not maintain a specific definition of “core” services as this differs from person to person. As a result the City does not pre-determine what one considers a core service.

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    Has there been any analysis completed to determine if salary costs (salary, benefits, allowances, pension costs, etc.) within the City of St. John's are higher than similar positions outside of a municipality or other municipalities in the surrounding area or other major cities within Canada?

    markcarberry asked 12 months ago

    Thanks for the question. There has not been a formal review completed within the past 6 years.

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    Hello! I see that the current millrate is 7.7. How much more would the City collect in taxes if they had a millrate of 7.8?

    debbiewiseman asked about 1 year ago

    Debbie, please review the Tax Calculator to see the impacts of various mil rate increases on your household based on your previous, and 2022, assessed value. A change in mil rate does not necessarily co-relate directly to an increase in taxes collected by the City as the assessed value of a property can also have changed since the last mil rate was set. For this example, however, overall, the increase would be $2 million.

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    The water tax is a flat rate for most residential properties. It is the same whether you have one bathroom or five. It doesn't account for lawn-watering and I don't think is impacted by personal pools. We do not have meters, but has the City looked at establishing a variable rate based on square footage, number of fixtures, presence of water-intensive amenities, etc.?

    mjphilpott asked about 1 year ago

    Yes, other systems have been considered to a degree. The only way to truly measure water usage is through metering. Unfortunately, any other system that does not include mandated metering does not address the inequity in the system and also comes with increased costs.

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    What percentage of residences within the City are un-serviced?

    gbs asked about 1 year ago

    3.3% of residential properties in the City are un-serviced.