**** HRM Media Release
Regional Council approves 2020-21 municipal budget
Regional Council approved $787-million in total municipal expenditures, provincial mandatory contributions of $168-million and a capital plan of $150-million as part of the 2020/21 municipal budget.
Given the impacts of COVID-19 on the municipality, all business units presented revised budget plans than those presented earlier in the year.
Council approved the residential tax rate to remain unchanged from 2020/21, acknowledging that the average residential tax bill will increase due to growth in property assessment.
The average single-family home tax bill will increase by $27, or 1.4 per cent in 2020/21 to $2,003. The overall average commercial tax bill will also increase by 1.4 per cent.
Capital debt will remain stable and should be as low as $235.7-million in 2020/21. Subject to Regional Council’s approval later in June, the municipality anticipates it will incur a short-term debt of $130-million for cashflow purposes.
“This budget comes at a challenging time for our municipality with residents and businesses faced with the significant financial hardships imposed by COVID-19,” said Mayor Mike Savage. “I want to recognize our staff and Regional Council for working to develop a budget that strikes a balance between fiscal prudence, the continuation of valuable community programs and services, and social and economic recovery.”
“What we are seeing and experiencing socially and economically will result in a fundamental change to the way we live, work and share experiences in the Halifax Regional Municipality,” said CAO Jacques Dubé. “As challenging as this budget is, it is a prudent approach that will enable financial resiliency and sustainability going forward. It has not been an easy task and the continued dedication and professionalism of the entire municipal team, elected and appointed, is greatly appreciated.”
Key programs and capital projects
- Woodside Ferry Terminal Upgrades $4.5-million
- Ragged Lake Transit Expansion $5-million
- Access-A-Bus Replacement $1.17-million
Active Transportation and Environment
- Active transportation projects $7.5-million
- HalifACT 2050 -Energy Efficiency $2-million
Transportation & Safety
- Bridge and street improvements $33.7-million
- Windsor Street Exchange $1.8-million
- Downtown Dartmouth Infrastructure Renewal $2-million
Recreation & Community
- Halifax Common Upgrades $600,000
- Keshen Goodman Library $2-million
- Streetscaping $400,000
For more detailed information on the 2020-21 municipal budget visit http://www.halifax.ca/budget