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City administration proposes 5.29% mill rate increase in 2024

Regina city administration proposed a mill rate increase of 5.29 per cent to executive committee as budget discussions officially got underway Wednesday.

“Would we always like more money? Yes,” said city director of financial strategy and sustainability Barry Lacey. “We know we have a deficit and places where that money would go to good use.”

If approved by council, it would mark more than 10 consecutive years of tax increases in Regina.

“It’s about striking the right balance on a multi-year journey to get to a place where we’re in a much better place than we are today,” Lacey said.


The average household would see a tax increase of about $20/month or $240/year.

According to the city, raising or lowering the mill rate just one per cent sways the budget $3 million.

“It’s going to be very difficult for us to come in with an increase of 5.29%,” said Ward 2 Coun. Bob Hawkins. “I say that realizing we may have to cut down to the bone or possibly even into the bone.

“If we provide the service, the customer will pay for the service,” said Ward 5 Coun. John Findura. “It’s a difficult thing to do but we can’t stop growing the city or maintaining the services.”


The city has several capital projects and deferred maintenance costs on the horizon. At this rate, some of those projects would have to be delayed further.

“The majority of the mill rate increase is related to capital,” said Curtis Smith, manager of budget and long-term financial planning. “There is little flexibility due to a few factors.”

Administration blamed new cost pressures, like winter road maintenance and fuel prices, for the increases.

To release some pressure, administration proposed four projects be deferred to at least 2025.

The Saskatchewan Drive project would start construction in 2027, not next year.

Some city facility renewable energy retrofits, the Scarth Street transformation and some asset management programs would also be deferred until later in the city’s capital plan.

“In last year’s 5-year capital plan, there was $11 million [dedicated to retrofits],” Smith explained. “With this approach, there would be $0 spent.”

Other projects, like 11th Avenue and Dewdney Avenue constructions, replacement of the Lawson Aquatic Centre and electrification of the city bus fleet would continue as planned.

“There are some real difficult decisions to made,” Lacey told committee.

The city has over $18 million in deferred maintenance costs on various assets.

“We have historically underfunded that,” Lacey said. “It’s a matter of prioritizing the money we do have to maintain facilities,” Lacey responded.

“Council and administration has kicked the can down the road,” said ward 3 coun. Andrew Stevens. “Now we’re paying more for projects a decade ago someone said, ‘We’ll let someone else worry about it.’”

“I’m not comfortable saying a future generation is going to have to pay for [this],” Stevens added.

Final budget decisions will be made in November. Top Stories

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