March 9, 2023
Council approves 2023-2027 Financial Plan
Sidney’s 2023-2027 Financial Plan was adopted by Council following final budget deliberations on March 7th. It includes an operating budget of $26.6 million and a capital budget of $15.3 million for 2023. The general tax increase for the year has been set at 4.57%.
I am pleased that Council was able to keep this year’s tax increase well-below inflation as we know community members and local businesses are feeling the rising cost of living,” said Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith. “Council exercised financial prudence, ensuring a high level of Town core services, along with healthy reserves and well-maintained infrastructure into the future.”
Each year, the Town’s budget covers a wide range of core services, including but not limited to the maintenance of roads, sidewalks, parks, and underground utilities that residents and businesses make use of daily. This year’s Financial Plan also features an emphasis on environmental projects, climate adaptation, and active transportation, while maintaining the essential public safety services such as police and fire.
The proposed general tax increase in the draft Financial Plan, introduced to Council on February 6th, was 4.93%. Council was successful in reducing the general increase to 4.57%. A Property Tax Distribution Policy, adopted by Council last year, means that the annual tax impact will now be different for Residential and Commercial properties. The purpose of the Tax Distribution Policy is to partially bridge the gap – over a 10-year period – between the tax rates paid by Residential and Commercial properties for the same set of services. As a result of applying this policy, the impact on the average Residential property will be 4.89%, which equates to approximately $79 for the year, or $6.58 per month. The approximate impact on the average Commercial property is 3.73%.
The Town was able to keep the tax increase 2.39% lower than inflation due to conservative budgeting, using available funding sources, and also through higher-than-average growth in the tax base. This growth came from both commercial and high-density residential construction over the past year, producing an additional $400,000 in new tax revenues for the Town. This new revenue will not only help to keep the tax increase lower for this year, but will continue to fund Town services on an ongoing basis.
The 2023-2027 Financial Plan is available for viewing at www.www.sidney.ca.
Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith
Town of Sidney