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'Nobody likes tax increases': Regina gives first look at 2024 budget

The City of Regina's final 2024 budget proposal would see the average household pay $19.42 more per month in combined property and utility taxes.

That includes the average homeowner paying $4.30 more in property tax per month if the budget proposal is approved by city council.

“Nobody likes tax increases,” said Mayor Sandra Masters. “But when our costs go up, the only avenue we have is property tax increases.”

City administration equated that increase to a proposed mill rate increase of 2.20 per cent.

Currently, a property valued at $315,000 pays $193.67 in property tax per month, according to the city.

“We have services we need to continue to provide to residents,” said city manager Niki Anderson. “We’ll continue to provide those services in the best, most economical way possible.”

In September, administration initially proposed a 5.29 per cent mill rate increase for 2024, which would have seen the average household’s property tax increase by about $20 per month or $240 for the year.


In December 2022, city council approved a four per cent water rate increase for 2024 to maintain the utility and fund the renewal of the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant, the city said.

Residents can expect to see an increase to their water bills in the new year. The city says that increase will be around $6.60 per month for the average household.

“We need to make sure Regina has safe, high-quality, potable water,” said CFO Barry Lacey. “It’s a key thing a municipality delivers.”

With the launch of the city’s new green cart program, residents will also now have to pay for their brown garbage carts. According to the city, a 360 litre cart will cost $23.73 per month and a 240 litre cart will be $16.12 per month, with the average monthly cost adding up to $8.52 for the smaller cart, the city said that amount "covers all waste services."

Those waste service fees will be part of water utility bills. That will mean a total increase of $15.12 a month on the average residential property’s utility bill, the city said.

According to the city, all put together, the average household would pay a total of $19.42 more per month in 2024 with the proposed mill rate and utility rate increases combined.

"Like many municipalities, the financial landscape of the city has changed, largely influenced by inflation and rising costs," the city said in a news release.


With a decision regarding Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL) weighing in the balance of council, administration is recommending more than $2.5 million in city grand funding.

That allocation could change when the city takes over full control of Tourism Regina.

“I don’t expect that decision to have any impact on the mill rate,” Lacey explained. “It would simply be a reallocation of the grant funding into the city’s operating budget.


To keep the mill rate increase minimal, administration deferred several planned projects to at least 2025.

“We’re going to have to defer and step into them,” Masters said. “Or we could talk about an 8 to 10 [per cent mill rate increase] but no one’s going to do that.”

Some of the projects include the 11th Avenue renewal, Saskatchewan Drive corridor, Scarth Street mall change and Ring Road safety improvement projects.

“It’s a matter of making allocation decisions and how to prioritize what you have with limited dollars,” Lacey said. “So there’s a slight step back this year.”

Regina city council will review Friday’s final budget proposal on Dec. 13. Top Stories

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