Some heavy reading for Barrie City Councillors over the Christmas Break. the 2018 Draft Budget has been put in their hands. As it stands, it represents a 3.15 per cent increase over last year or about $130 more for the average property owner (see fact sheet below). It won’t likely stay there. Council will look through January at places to make cuts. The final budget expected to be voted on January 29.
The City of Barrie is setting its sights low. At City Hall Monday night, direction was handed down by council to prepare Barrie’s Business Plan for 2018, which will include the city’s budget. Barrie’s bean counters have been asked to shoot for a lower budget increase this year, aiming for a 1.5% increase to next year’s budget. Councillor Doug Shipley came up with that number, and says it isn’t set in stone.
Councillor Arif Khan adds, no matter the target, City Hall has to justify the end result.
This compares to the 2.25% increase city staff were told to keep it to in last year’s budget, while residents saw a 2.9% increase to property taxes. With this direction, city staff from all departments will get to work preparing budgets and strategic goals before the new year.