Sudbury city council approves 4% tax increase

(File photo)

Homeowners in the City of Greater Sudbury will see their property taxes increase by 4 per cent in 2021 after city council approved this year's budget. This is slightly down from the 4.8 per cent in 2020, but a bit higher than the 3.6 per cent in 2019.

The city said this works out to be about $10 more each month compared to last year's taxes for a home assessed at $230,000.

"Following deliberations by the finance and administration committee, city council has approved the 2021 municipal budget with significant investments in roads and drainage, water and wastewater, transitional housing, Pioneer Manor, information technology solutions, building renewal and fleet upgrades," the city said in a news release Tuesday night.

The total operating budget for this year is $641 million and is funded 48 per cent by property taxes.

"This has been a budget like no other. I’m proud of what we’ve established as our business plan for the upcoming year, even while facing ongoing challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic," Mayor Brian Bigger said. "I want to thank council and staff for their dedication in establishing a budget that reflects continued investment in our community while keeping our commitment to ensuring residents have access to quality municipal services."

Highlights of the budget include:

  • $59 million to upgrade and modernize long-term care facilities at Pioneer Manor cost-shared with the province and financed over 30 years.
  • $5.2 million for construction of a therapeutic leisure pool at the Lionel E. Lalonde Centre.
  • $1.1 million to fund transitional housing to place and support individuals with mental health and addictions.
  • $400,000 for the purchase of an all-in-one Automated Pothole Patching Machine.
  • $480,000 to hire additional personal support workers and increase part-time hours in the Nursing - Direct Care department and $172,000 to fund Registered Practical Nurse positions to support infection prevention and control, further support in health care and safety for residents at Pioneer Manor.
  • $1.8 million of additional funding for Whitson Trail.
  • $1.6 million in upgrades to Sudbury Landfill site.
  • $3.2 million for fleet improvements of vehicles and equipment.
  • $6.5 million to maintain and improve GOVA transit with accelerating bus replacement.

Of the $144.1 million capital budget, 72 per cent will be spent on roads and water and wastewater infrastructure. Over $40 million will be spent on services such as leisure environmental paramedic and police, along with fleet and facility upgrades.

"While there are ongoing uncertainties related to the impact of COVID-19, this budget includes a financial plan that balances affordability and the community’s service needs, all while continuing to advance the goals described in Council’s Strategic Plan,” said Ed Archer, the city's chief administrative officer.

The city said the priorities identified by about 2,600 residents during the feedback process included water, winter and road maintenance, garbage and recycling, as well as emergency services. Officials said they saw an increase in the number of people engaged in the process this year with an additional 1,100 people visiting the city's budget project web page.