Have your say as to how Courtenay’s city budget will look

Citizen Budget gives residents a chance to steer council

How would you balance the City of Courtenay budget?

Courtenay residents are invited to share their spending priorities via the Citizen Budget online budget consultation, available starting today (Wednesday, October 11) at www.courtenay.ca/citizenbudget

Spending categories include Police Services, Fire Services, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Parks and Playgrounds, Transportation Services, as well as questions about general taxes and water and sewer infrastructure. Respondents can also provide input on the city’s strategic priorities, and their overall satisfaction with the value of the services they receive for their tax dollars.

Results will be reviewed by staff and shared with Courtenay council prior to the 2018 budget review.

David Allen, the city’s chief administrative officer, said Citizen Budget is a quick and easy way for the public to share their spending priorities with the City.

“Citizen Budget is designed to be simple and straightforward, and it helps us share city budget information in an accessible way,” he said. “Our residents can use this interactive tool to tell us what city services matter the most to them, and also see how their choices would affect their property taxes.

“For those who’d like more background information, Citizen Budget provides links to those resources as well.”

Citizen Budget shows the direct impact on individual property taxes for raising and lowering spending on specific services.

Respondents are also asked about user fees for water and sewer. These user fees support both municipal and regional utility infrastructure. As well, these fees cover the city’s bulk water purchase and sewage treatment, both of which are provided by the Comox Valley Regional District.

Citizen Budget takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Property owners can choose to input their own assessed property value to see dollar amounts specific to their own tax notice. Citizen Budget isn’t limited to just property owners, however. Everyone in Courtenay is welcome to participate, whether they own or rent.

Last year, 132 people provided input through Citizen Budget. This is the fifth budget year in a row the Citizen Budget consultation tool has been available.

The 2018 Citizen Budget will be available until Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017.

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