St. Catharines trying to avoid big tax increases by dipping into rainy day reserves

STC-Downtown

St. Catharines City Council has decided to dip into reserve funds to help get the city through the next phase of the COVID pandemic.

Budget Chair Mat Siscoe tells CKTB's Tom McConnell they decided to use over $2.8M from the city's 'rainy day reserves' to make up for lost revenue due to COVID closures, and reduced services.

The money will put towards the 2021 operating budget, and Siscoe hopes will keep taxes low next year.

He is hoping the move will bring taxes to around a 2% increase, instead of 5%.

He says the business community was very worried about an increase of 5% so this should help ease fears.

Siscoe says this is not the time to drastically increase taxes, so the rare measure was needed.