The main components of Gatineau's 2019 Budget are as follows.
The budget that we are adopting today is balanced and fits within our fiscal reality. We will pursue the crucial continuous improvement and massive catch-up work on our infrastructures that has been underway for the past several years, and we will invest strategically in projects that, through collaboration with partners in several areas, will enhance the quality of life across Gatineau: additional day camps in Aylmer, business incubators, increased support for organizations in our communities, support for artists' professional practices, and much more.
The issues involved in drawing up a budget are complex, and can raise many questions. You can consult the municipal Web site, specifically the Budget perspective citoyenne tool, to better understand your tax account, or contact your elected representative, who will be happy to address your questions or comments. I want to thank all of the elected representatives for their participation and input during the budget preparations.
I also want to thank all those in the municipal administration who contributed directly or indirectly. Once again, the budget exercise reflected the discipline, prudence and transparency of the public administration. This invaluable and essential collaboration enabled us to bring our fellow Gatineau residents a bold budget built around their priorities.
On December 11, Gatineau Municipal Council adopted the budget for 2019, a $623.3 million balanced budget. This year's tax increases fall under two categories:
On the heels of the adoption of the 2018 Budget, the Municipal Council asked the Executive Committee to set up the Comité d'analyse approfondie du budget. This committee, supported by the Commission de révision des dépenses et des services, was tasked with conducting an in-depth budget review, including the workforce plan, and to provide the Municipal Council budget orientations for the last three years of the current mandate. The 2019 Budget is based on the 12 recommendations made by the committee.
A revenue diversification plan is being introduced to alleviate the tax burden on taxpayers.
This tax, created in 2012, is used for infrastructure investments. In 2019, the increase from this tax will be adjusted to 0.5% from 1% in the past few years. Thanks to sound debt management and a significant increase in cash payments over the past few years, we are now able to use the debt to offset part of the dedicated tax, and still maintain the pace of infrastructure catch-up.
In essence, debt servicing now only represents 10% of Gatineau's expenditures, down from 23% at the time of the 2002 merger. It is worth noting that cash payments represent 68% of maintenance type work, up from 25% in 2010.
So far, the dedicated tax has enabled Gatineau to invest more than $112 million in infrastructures, with another $36 million to be added in 2019.
In order to meet the community's needs, Gatineau is investing in the following areas:
Over the next three years, investments total $403.2 million, including close to $145 million in 2019, namely for:
Over the next few years, Gatineau will continue investing in the following areas:
Recognized for its quality of life, Gatineau is a city of 285,000 inhabitants. It is located on the north shore of the Ottawa River, and extends east and west of the Gatineau River.