The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce is saying an emphatic no to a proposed one per cent tax increase to covera $5.73-million budget shortfall.
Chamber president Charla Robinson on Monday said city council and administration should look for ways to cut spending, rather than force taxpayers to dig deeper to cover the overrun, which city officials have blamed on winter weather, insurance and legal issues.
“Our analysis indicates that there is room for cost savings, showing that costs are higher in 20 of 27 expense categories when compared to other Ontario communities. We know that these are tough decisions and offer our support to council as they explore all options to reduce operating costs to meet this financial challenge,” Robinson said.
“However, the Chamber will not support an additional increase in the 2014 tax levy.”
The proposes increase is one of several options administration plans to bring to the table Monday night.
City manager Tim Commisso on Friday said by law the city must have a balanced budget and a solution is necessary.
Other options include using reserve funds, but Commisso said he’d prefer to avoid this as reserves were dipped into last year to cover a 2013 shortfall.
Council has also been given a $2.5-million list of restraint measures that include hiring freezes and trimmed-down travel budgets.