Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Lethbridge looks for residents’ ‘two cents’ for upcoming budget

Residents across Lethbridge can have their say as to how they think money should be spent at city hall.

Lethbridge city council will soon set its four year operating budget this fall and is using its ‘My Two Cents’ campaign to learn about residents’ wants and priorities.

“This gives residents an opportunity to take a look, see how they would designate the budget — see how that would directly impact their own property taxes and then make decision and alterations from there, based  on what they would like to pay for income taxes, based on what is important to their family and what their priorities are,” said Councillor Jenn Scmidt-Rempel.

Residents can visit the Get Involved Lethbridge website to fill out a form showing what they want to be considered in the next budget. There will also be opportunities to be heard in-person, including at the farmer’s market on August 20th.

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“The information is gathered, brought back to city council and it gives us an opportunity to see some of those things that residents and families find important in our community and helps us inform a little bit better as we are making those budget decisions,” Schmidt-Rempel said. “We need that input from the community but in the end we still need to find a balance between the services that we provide and the services that community members might want or see as a priority but they don’t balance out necessarily with some of the other things that are priorities within our community.”

The city said it will have to take events of the past couple years into consideration when talking about the budget. These include the impacts of the pandemic, funding decreases from other levels of government, inflation and the effects of a zero per cent tax increase in the past three years.

The My Two Cents program will run from Aug. 17 until Sept. 9.

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