Posted on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 4 p.m.
Counties start annual budget wrestling match
It’s coming out of the corner weighing in at almost five-and-a-half per cent but the eight mayors on counties council hope to tag-team wrestle the tax rate increase for the 2018 Prescott-Russell budget down to three-and-a-half.
Julie Ménard-Brault, finance director for the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR), presented counties council Wednesday with a summary of the first draft of the 2018 budget.
“It is a budget that has everything that council asked for or approved,” Ménard-Brault said. “I think it’s a good first draft.”
The one thing all eight mayors did not like about the report was the 5.4 per cent tax rate increase that came with the budget draft. Both Ménard-Brault and Stéphane Parisien, UCPR chief administrator, reminded them that the report includes all items that the mayors have asked over the past year for consideration in the 2018 budget.
“If you took out everything council asked us to put in,” Parisien said, “you’d be at zero (tax rate increase).”
After about half an hour’s discussion, most of council agreed to have administration review the draft and present a report at the Oct. 25 regular session with recommendations to bring the tax rate increase down to 3.5 per cent.