The City Finance Committee received an update on Saint John’s Long Range Financial Plan.
City staff presented the update on Friday, July 15.
The plan includes a tax reduction target of $1.57 per $100 of assessed property value by 2032.
“We recommend that this $1.57 amount be maintained as it is a critical assumption of the plan as it can generate a lot of revenue,” said Kevin Fudge, CFO of the City of Saint John.
Finance Committee Chair Councilor Gary Sullivan said the goal can build residents’ confidence.
“Not only who live in Saint John, work in Saint John and have businesses in Saint John now, but are part of the overall strategy to continue to recruit people and their businesses to the city, I think that’s important, and I think it serves us well.
Councilor Greg Norton, who sits on the committee, believes the reduction sends a strong message.
“The fact that the City of Saint John, as far as City Hall is concerned, is getting its finances in order, and that makes us less susceptible to criticism from those people who may have had to be critical in the past where Saint John overspent and could not take care of its financial house.
“Whether or not we believe it’s true or not, it’s a good weapon to combat that negative commentary,” Norton added.
Currently, the city’s tax rate is $1.71 per $100 of assessed property value, the lowest tax rate since 1998.
Other goals of the long-term fiscal plan include reducing the infrastructure deficit by 25% over 10 years, a wage increase policy that aligns salaries and benefits with increases in overall recurring revenue growth, continued reduction of the debt balance by 25% over 10 years. years, or 2.5% per year, and continue to increase contributions to capital reserves by 10% per year.