Charlottetown’s budget is strong ands responsible for the taxpayers, says Mayor Lee

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harlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee answers questions from local reporters after the 2009 Budget Committee meeting. 

 

     The great thing about the budget passed in Charlottetown March, 26, is there was no tax rate increase for citizens and this was a real challenge to achieve, said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee.

      All but one of the proposals in the budget was passed unanimously. The proposal to increase tax payments for the flat water and sewer rates, which was passed by a vote of 6-3, with Mitchell Tweel, Melissa Hilton, and Terry Bernard voting against the idea.

      Lee credits the support of the city council for the creation and passing of the budget. He said it could not have been done without their support.

      “It was a difficult process to get to where we are today and I think we are going to see a continual improvement in the quality of life for the citizens of Charlottetown.”

       The mayor said he was most proud of was the fact the budget passed without an increase in taxes.

        “With the changes in the provincial taxation system, it was a real challenge in 2009 to achieve that goal, so definitely that is the part I am most proud of and I think most members of the council are to.”

         Lee said he is not satisfied with everything within the $40 million document, but he is realistic enough to realize you can’t come in with a budget where every member of council is going to be a 100 per cent satisfied.

         “I have some priorities of my own, other members have their priorities. It becomes a process of bringing them all together and coming up with the best for the citizens of Charlottetown.”

          Finance Committee chair Cecil Villard said he was pleased to announce how the city was able to achieve a balanced budget without the need to increase any municipal tax rates, during his opening speech.

         Villard also congratulated his colleagues on the council and all departments for their diligence in ensuring that 2008 ended a surplus of $829, 653.

           “Collectively, we did the responsible thing throughout the past year to monitor  expenditures and curtail work where appropriate in order to avoid any year end short fall.”

             After the meeting, Villard said his biggest concern with the budget was building some long-term budget planning for the city.

             “It is important to solidify your funding sources over a year to year basis.” 

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