No Tax Increase in Windsor Budget For 6th Straight Year

Thursday, November 21, 2013

CBC News

Windsor residents will likely not have to deal with a tax increase for the sixth consecutive year.

The proposed 2014 budget proposal is now in the hands of city councillors. Department heads have met council's directive to reduce their budgets, in order to keep taxes frozen.

The proposed budget totals about $700 million.

Mayor Eddie Francis is proud of the city's six-year streak of no tax increases.

"To be affordable and attractive, we had a lot of work to do. We had to hold the line on taxes. We had to reset the city's financial house," he said. "At the same time, we had to make necessary investments in modern amenities that people expect of their community."

Francis hears the skeptics who say holding the line on taxes will eventually catch up with the city.

"Numbers don't lie numbers. The numbers are what they are," he said. "I truly appreciate and respect the fact that that doesn't feed well into the agenda of the skeptics, and they're going to continue to be skeptical of anything we do or say."

The mayor also pointed out the city's debt is dropping. It's about $110 million, down from $230 million 10 years ago. The city's reserves are on the rise, now totalling more than $100 million. Council has scheduled a budget meeting for Dec. 2.

Reports on two issues still aren't finalized. They include a report on how to handle an arbitration award for firefighters and options on building a new city hall.