City Adopts 2018 Budget

City Uses Financial Management and Continuous Improvement to Deliver More Value for Community in 2018 Budget

The City of Fredericton’s continued dedication to good financial management and continuous improvement has led to the City delivering a balanced budget that delivers more value to citizens without impact to their property tax bills.

During this evening’s special Council budget meeting, Fredericton City Council approved the City of Fredericton’s 2018 Budget. The $116.9 million dollar General Fund budget comes with no tax rate increase, maintains or improves existing services, and achieves more than $615,000 in efficiencies.

“Fredericton is a wonderful place to live that delivers exceptional value for taxes paid. The City has been working hard to add more value by continuing to innovate and find improvements to continue to make Fredericton the place people want to live, work and play,” said Coun. Dan Keenan, Vice-Chair of the Finance & Administration Committee “Despite challenges we faced with rising costs and the lowest property tax growth in our history, we’ve been able to deliver a balanced budget that still delivers great value to our citizens with some service improvements and new amenities. For 2018, most people should see the same tax bill or a decreased tax bill over last year, all the while receiving the same services plus new capital projects and service improvements.

$18.4 million is earmarked for the capital budget and more than $766,000 will be provided in grants to community groups.

Recreation fees will increase in the areas of the Royals Field rental, community school gym rental, and the outside user fee for winter ice sports.

Council earlier approved a Water & Sewer Utility budget of $21.2 million, with a capital budget of $11.1 million. The quarterly combined water & sewer rate will increase from $1.68/m³ to $1.78/m³ and the quarterly service charge is being increased from $102.90 to $107.98. The rate increase will support much needed reinvestment in replacing old infrastructure to keep our water safe and clean.  The Water & Sewer Utility also found $285,355 in efficiencies totaling over $1 million in cumulative savings.

Budget 2018 Highlights:

  • The 2018 General Fund Budget is $116,918,458 million. This is an increase of 3.32% over last year.
     
  • The tax rate will remain the same as 2017, and in fact, since 2011.
    • Inside Rate – $1.4211 per $100 of property tax assessment
    • Outside Rate – $1.0658 per $100 of property tax assessment
       
  • Budget revenue comes from the following areas:
    • Property tax, $100,067,182 or 85.6%
    • User charges, licenses and fees, $15,029,538 or 12.9%
    • Community Funding and Equalization (Unconditional) Grant, $1,821,738 or 1.5%
       
  • Fee increases will occur in the following areas:
    • Recreation:
      • Royals Field Cost per Game from $25.00 to $30.001
      • Winter Ice Sport Outside User Fee from $726.50 to 773.002
      • Community School Gym – 1 Hour Rental from $25.00 to $27.503
      • Community School Gym – 2 Hour Rental from $40.00 to $42.503
        ¹Effective January 1, 2018 | ²Effective April 1, 2018 | 3Effective August 1, 2018
         
  • The budget will be spent in the following service areas:
    • Public Safety – $39.3 million
    • Mobility – $19.2 million
    • Sustainable Infrastructure – $26.3 million
    • Livable Community – $17.1 million
    • Economic Vitality – $4.5 million
    • Environmental Stewardship – $3.9 million
    • Governance & Civic Engagement – $5.2 million
    • Provincial Assessment Costs – $1.4 million
      • Note:  The dollar amount for the Corporate service is divided across the other results areas.
         
  • The 2018 capital budget for things like roads, vehicles and buildings will be $18,401,885. The breakdown by service category includes Mobility, $7.9 million; Economic Vitality $0.2 million, Environmental Stewardship $1.8 million; Livable Community, $6 million; Public Safety, $0.5 million; and Corporate, $2 million.
     
  • $766,430 in Community Grants will be given to local groups. This includes Strategic Partner Capital Grants; and Community Grants, as well as Arts, Heritage & Cultural Activity/Program Grants, Major Events, and Sport Tourism.
     
  • Savings from improvement & innovations efforts totaled more than $615,000 in the General Fund and $285,355 in the Water and Sewer Utility.
     
  • Property tax revenue was $100.1 million. The tax base grew by a modest 0.75%, with a decrease of 0.31% in market assessments (as a result of the freeze on property tax assessment increases) and an increase of 1.06% in new construction.

City Council also approved a $21.2 million Water & Sewer Utility budget for 2018. As voted on in principle by Council in October, the water & sewer consumption usage rate will increase to $0.89/m³ for both water and sewer, for a total of $1.78/m³. The quarterly service charge is being increased from $102.90 to $107.98 for both water and sewer. The rate increase will support reinvestment in replacing old infrastructure to keep your water clean and safe. Fredericton’s water & sewer utility is self-funded through fees collected and offers the lowest rate in the region. City Council adopted a Water & Sewer Long-Term Financial Plan in August 2013.

Details about the budget can be found on the City’s website at www.fredericton.ca and search Budget 2018.