By Gordon Lambie
Local Journalism Initiative
The City of Sherbrooke approved both its 2022 operations budget and its 2022-24 capital investment plan on Monday night, moving ahead with plans to increase property taxes by three per cent for the average homeowner, and to invest roughly $373.5 million in over 158 infrastructure projects over the next three years.
The operating budget for the city as a whole increased by 24.9 million in 2022 to 372.3 million, with significant portions committed to infrastructure work and improving the city’s digital systems and security.
The difference in the tax rate works out to $85.76 per year for a home evaluated at $259 700, the average house price in Sherbrooke. The increase is greater, at four per cent or about $288.88 per year, for owners of six-unit apartment buildings, and 11.7 per cent of $207.00 per year for the owners of vacant lots connected to city services.
In presenting the two documents at Monday’s meeting, Mayor Évelyne Beaudin committed to keeping the tax rate to a three per cent increase for the entirety of this term in office.
“You can budget for it,” she said. “There will not be any surprises.”
Beaudin shared that the city kept the tax increase in the city lower than it could have been by decreasing the base tax rate by six cents per $100. This move was made, in part, in recognition of the impact of an 8.9 per cent overall increase in property values in the city over the last three years, with the rate in residential sectors being closer to 10 per cent.
With regard to the capital investment plan, meanwhile, Beaudin called it the council’s “biggest challenge,” due to past commitments the city has made that it now needs to follow through with. Among these she listed the performance venue for young audiences, host venues for the Quebec Games, the Well Sud project, the Grandes Fourches Bridge and the revitalization of Galt Street west, all of which have either already surpassed their original budgets, or are expected to.
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