This just out from the printing presses at city hall. The criticisms must be getting to them.
Proposed 2010 budget protects homeless, environment, arts programs
Property tax increase limited to 2%
Staff will present the 2010 proposed operating budget to council today, which Mayor Robertson says invests in Council’s priorities despite difficult budget circumstances, and limits overall property taxes to 2%.
“This budget protects our homeless and housing programs, invests in the environment and public safety, and has no cuts to the arts,” said Mayor Robertson. “Despite facing a $60 million shortfall, I’m pleased that we’re able to deliver a progressive, pragmatic budget that invests in our top priorities.”
The 2010 proposed operating budget comes to council following weeks of public consultations, including community forums, telephone polling, and web surveys. Following approval in principle by council, the budget will go to a public hearing on December 3rd.
“The budget process is never easy in the best of times, let alone when we’re facing historic declines in development revenue and are not allowed to run a deficit,” said Mayor Robertson. “Staff have done a great job identifying efficiencies within the City and finding cost savings to close the $60 million gap, and doing it all with just a 2% tax increase.”
Among the key highlights in the 2010 proposed operating budget:
- No cuts to programs directed towards homelessness, vulnerable populations, or affordable housing
- Maintained funding for the City’s Sustainability Group, to help continue work on reducing greenhouse gases and implementing curbside composting
- Increased funding for arts and culture
- Police budget increased, and $2.6 million in savings identified within the VPD without laying off any police officers
- Limiting property taxes overall to 2%
The budget report from staff will be presented at today’s 2pm council meeting. A final decision by council will be made on December 18th.