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Halifax Regional Council Approves 2008-09 Budget

(Tuesday, April 29 2008) -- Council approved the 2008/09 Operating, Reserve and Capital Budgets today. The approved budget will maintain current service levels, respond to growth pressures, and allow for targeted service improvements.

"The 2008/09 Budget is a reflection of what residents have told Council are their priorities, balanced with the need to be responsible about taxation levels and ensuring our overall financial health continues to improve," said Mayor Kelly. "The significant increase in our capital budget was made possible in part by the success of the Multi-Year Financial Strategy."

The approved budget marks a significant increase in the level of re-investment in our existing capital assets while also providing for moderate spending to address new capital needs.

Council has taken a measured step by funding the capital increase through debt for this year only. The new debt will be paid from the capacity created from long-term debt that was paid off last year. The existing debt policy only provided targets to 2003/04; therefore, Council will examine a new debt policy this June that will seek to achieve steady decline in net debt while addressing the priorities of the Regional Plan and other Council strategies.

2008 Highlights (Organized by Council Focus Area):

Tax Reform

  • Tax Reform public Consultations

Public Safety

  • 46 new Police Officers (including 14 from the Province)
  • 16 new Firefighters

Community Development

  • Youth Advocacy Program
  • Investment in "Employer of Choice" initiatives
  • Good Neighbours, Great Neighbourhoods program
  • HRM by Design


  • An increase in capital spending on existing assets from 65% to over 80%
  • $5 million funding for new arena capacity
  • $2 million HRM share of capital projects for Lake Banook / World Canoe Ch.
  • $6 million increase in capital for streets and roads
  • Highfield Park Fire station Expansion
  • New Satellite Transit Garage to ensure bus fleet can expand
  • $6 million to support the operating costs of new capital

The total gross operating expenditures for 2008/09 are $680,745,914 an increase of $31.1 million over last year. The gross Operating budget consists of both municipally and Provincially delivered services. For municipal services in 2008/09, the approved operating and capital service levels require a budget increase of approximately 5.1%. This adds $26.7 million over last year for a total of $549.9 million. The general tax rate will increase by 3.13%, resulting in an increase in the average tax bill of approximately $83 or 6.3%.

The Provincial portion of the budget has increased and final estimates will be available prior to June, and will be reflected in the final Provincial area rate. Based on current estimates of Provincial and Assessment costs, total tax bills will increase by at least $19 on the average tax bill for a total increase of $102.

For more information and reports to Council, visit

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For more information, please contact:

Mayor Peter Kelly




Above content last modified Thursday, November 02, 2023 at 11:40am.