Borough Council adopted LaSalle's operating budget for 2013 on Thursday, September 27. Forecasting expenditures of $46,176,100 and revenues of $1,869,500, this budget comes within the strategic planning followed by the Borough's elected officials since the start of their current term of office.
As Mayor Manon Barbe explained, "This budget is in keeping with the three major considerations that have guided our actions and our decisions from 2010 to 2012: to preserve the quality of proximity services, to support economic and residential development and to maintain tight controls over spending."
Mayor Barbe made a point of stressing that the Borough has delivered balanced budgets, year after year, while investing in services to residents: renovations to parks, a synthetic soccer field, repairs to pools, the Montréal Canadiens' refrigerated skating rink, a new ecocentre, collection of green waste, etc. This budget also reflects a will to support residential development, in order to generate new revenue and share the tax burden among more taxpayers. In only two years' time, real estate developers have paid LaSalle $1.3 million in building permits and have contributed $1 million to the park fund, in addition to millions of new revenue for the City. The Mayor also mentioned that the Borough was continuing its tight controls over spending that were put in place over the years. These efforts have given rise to a net management surplus of $1,780,800, as at December 31, 2011, and according to all indications, LaSalle should end the 2012 fiscal year with a balanced budget.2013 budget reduces rate of local tax on services
For 2013, the borough of LaSalle's budget has been set at $46,176,100. This operating budget consists of:
• a net resource envelope of $33,997,700 from Ville de Montréal
• a revenue budget of $1,869,500
• a local tax on services, whose rate is down to 6.49 cents from 6.92 and which generates $4,423,800
• tax room transferred to the Borough by Ville de Montréal and representing $3,405,700
• and an amount of $2,479,400 appropriated from our accumulated surpluses
The rate of local tax on services is being reduced to 6.49 cents per $100 of assessment. This rate had been frozen at 6.92 cents per $100 since 2010. As for the local tax corresponding to the transferred tax room, it is a tax that has been transferred from the City's revenue to the boroughs' revenue and represents 5% of the tax burden. It doesn't involve additional taxation for taxpayers, but is rather an amount that they previously paid to the central city and that they will be paying to their borough from now on.
A number of factors account for the difference of $2,927,800 between the 2012 and 2013 operating budgets: The central city has increased the Borough's budget by $1 million, to cover the costs of the new 311 call centre that is managed by LaSalle, but serves the entire city of Montréal. There are also specific manpower needs as well as salary and employee benefit adjustments provided for in the labour contracts and totalling $800,000. In addition, there are cost increases in snow and garbage removal contracts, in the price of electricity, natural gas and fuel, and in the cost of several other services, accounting for another $800,000. And lastly, the Borough will be contributing $300,000 more to the support it gives to cultural, sports, recreational and social development organizations, which have a direct impact on residents' lives.Three-year capital investment program (CIP)
Adopted in August, the three-year capital investment program for 2013-2015 has made provision for investments of $13,378,000. For 2013, the CIP provides for $8,596,000 in investments in projects and programs. The major part of these investments—or $6,546,000—will be devoted to the road repair program, in order to maintain the infrastructures, which are the very foundations of our municipality. It must be borne in mind that added to this amount of $6.5 million, invested by LaSalle in its streets and sidewalks, is the major work carried out each year by the central city on our arterial road system. At the same time, LaSalle will be investing $600,000 in redeveloping our neighbourhood parks, which are so important to families. An amount of $500,000 is budgeted for repairs to municipal buildings in general, while we will be earmarking $750,000 for the program to replace the Borough's fleet of vehicles. And lastly, $100,000 will be injected into the installation of lighting furniture and $100,000 will go toward maintaining computer systems.