There’s an unexpected shortfall of millions of dollars the City of Regina will now have to find ways to make up, but it’s not known exactly how yet.
During Wednesday’s provincial budget it was revealed grants-in-lieu of taxes to municipalities from SaskPower and SaskEnergy were being discontinued. Mayor Michael Fougere said that could amount to more than $11 million the city will suddenly be without.
“That is a big concern to us. That is a big hit for us,” he said from the legislature on budget day. “That’s more than our entire snow removal budget. That’s an incredible amount of money.”
The province said because the move will disproportionately impact Regina, measures will be taken to mitigate the impact, but those aren’t clear yet.
During its regular meeting Monday night, city council will discuss ways to fill that financial hole.
In Saskatoon, an emergency city council meeting was called on Sunday to address the impact of the cancellation of the grants-in-lieu program. During the meeting, council decided to ask its legal team to pursue an injunction against the province.
On top of the crown payments being removed, the province is also eliminating funding to Regina’s Public Library. Fougere said if the library can’t find efficiencies staff might have to come back in front of council to ask for the potential of a tax increase.
Fougere isn’t discounting the possibility of further raising taxes, having just passed the budget in February.
The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.