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Budget breakdown: Critical projects on the line in upcoming Edmonton budget debate

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Edmonton city council will plunge into budget talks Tuesday with some councillors trying to shave down a proposed 3.1-per-cent tax increase while others try to divert dollars to a long wish list of new priorities.

They’ve spent months debating festivals running in the red, increasing homelessness, upgrades to the Edmonton Ski Club and a new development agency to fight urban blight.

Now it’s decision time.

“If we’re not prepared to step up, we’re going to lose something,” said Coun. Ben Henderson. “If we don’t fund them now, all of that work and credibility with the community who partnered with us on this is jeopardized.”

City officials cut their base budget and held the tax increase to 3.1 per cent, one of the lowest in recent history. But in that budget, there’s just $5 million set aside for new priorities.

That list of priorities is worth $11 million. Something has to go, or council needs to drive the tax increase higher, something many say they’re reluctant to contemplate.

Full Story (Edmonton Journal)
 

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