Budget 2017 - gauche et droit, Tina Tapley et Greg Ericson, conseiller
Budget 2017 - Left to Right, Tina Tapley & Coun. Greg Ericson.

Planning and Focus Helps City Deliver Balanced 2017 Budget

The City of Fredericton’s long-term planning and steady focus on implementing its plans to achieve results for the community has led to the City delivering a balanced budget with service improvements during a time of low revenue growth.

During this evening’s special Council budget meeting, Fredericton City Council approved the City of Fredericton’s 2017 Budget. The $113.2 million dollar General Fund budget comes with no tax rate increase, maintains or improves existing services, and achieves more than $1.1 million in efficiencies.

“In our City, we plan for the long term to achieve the results the community expects at a cost that is affordable and sustainable,” said Coun. Greg Ericson, Chair of the Finance & Administration Committee. “We stay focused on putting those plans into action, and it pays off.”

“This year, we have the lowest revenue growth we’ve seen in 20 years. However, this is something we forecasted and took into account in our long-term financial plan. It is because of our excellent work in planning and staying focused on implementing those plans that we are still able to deliver a balanced budget that maximizes public value and improves services without raising the tax rate.”

$17.5 million is earmarked for the capital budget and $787,930 will be provided in grants to community groups.

Recreation fees will increase in the areas of hourly field rentals, community room rentals, and outside user fees. Fees will also increase for Transit Rider Cards and Transit Charters.

Council earlier approved a Water & Sewer Utility budget of $19.1 million, with a capital budget of $9.1 million. While the quarterly combined water & sewer rate will remain at $1.68/m³, the quarterly service charge is being increased from $92.86 to $102.90. The rate increase will support much needed reinvestment in replacing old infrastructure.

Budget 2017 Highlights:

  • The 2017 General Fund Budget is $113,158,309 million. This is an increase of 1.3% over last year.
  • The tax rate will remain the same as 2016, 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, $99,295,993 or 87.7%
    • User charges, licenses and fees, $12,039,157 or 10.7%
    • Community Funding and Equalization (Unconditional) Grant, $1,800,174 or 1.6%
    • Federal Payment in Lieu of Taxes - $22,985
  • Fee increases will occur in the following areas:
    • Recreation:
      • Class A and AA Field (Adult) – 2-hour rental from $20.00 to $22.50¹
      • Class B Field (Adult) – 2-hour rental from $15.00 to $20.00¹
      • Class A Field (Youth) – 2-hour rental new $10.00¹
      • Class B Field (Youth) – 2-hour rental new $8.00¹
      • Hourly community room rentals from $20.00 to $22.50¹
      • Winter Ice Sport Outside User Fee from $680.00 to $726.50²
      • Summer Field Sport Outside User Fee from $15.00 to $17.00²
      • Outdoor Pool Swimming Lesson Outside User Fee from $10.00 to $11.00²
    • Transit:
      • Transit Rider Cards from $22.50 to $25.00¹
      • Transit Charters (hourly rate) from $110.00 to $130.00¹

¹Effective January 1, 2017 | ²Effective April 1, 2017

  • The budget will be spent in the following service areas:
    • Public Safety – $38.3 million
    • Mobility – $18.4 million
    • Sustainable Infrastructure – $25.2 million
    • Livable Community – $16.8 million
    • Economic Vitality – $4.5 million
    • Environmental Stewardship – $3.9 million
    • Governance & Civic Engagement – $4.7 million
    • Provincial Assessment Costs – $1.4 million 
      • Note: The dollar amount for the Corporate service is divided across the other results areas.
  • The 2017 capital budget for things like roads, vehicles and buildings will be $17.4 million. The breakdown by service category includes Mobility, $8.3 million; Environmental Stewardship, $1.6 million; Livable Community, $5.4 million; Public Safety, $1.0 million; and Corporate, $1.1 million.
  • $787,930 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, Ethno & Laureate Cultural Grants, Major Events, and Sport Tourism.
  • Savings from improvement & innovations efforts totaled $1.1 million.
  • Property tax revenue was $99.3 million and the tax base grew by 1.38%, with 0.77% coming from market assessment increases and 0.61% from new construction.

City Council also approved a $19.1 million Water & Sewer Utility budget for 2017. As voted on in principle by Council in October, the water & sewer consumption usage rate will remain at $0.84/m³ for both water and sewer, for a total of $1.68/m³. The quarterly service charge is being increased from $46.43 each for water and sewer, to a quarterly total of $102.90 for both. The rate increase will support reinvestment in replacing old infrastructure to keep your systems 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 here.