Interactive survey asks public for input in 2017 City of Port Alberni budget

The City of Port Alberni wants to know how they should be spending public tax dollars, and they want input from the public in time.

The City of Port Alberni wants to know how they should be spending public tax dollars, and they want input from the public in time for the 2017 budget process.

An online survey, that launched on Oct. 25, provides residents with a chance to have a say on the use of their tax dollars.

“The city’s annual budget process does take place over the course of several months,” Jake Martens, deputy city clerk, said. “This year we’re starting a little bit early by intention and we’re also making a few modifications.”

The budget survey allows participants to consider the kinds of decisions facing city council by examining eight core municipal service areas funded by property taxes.

“We want the public to have their say,” Martens said. “One of the first things you’re going to notice is you can enter in your property tax assessment value that will tailor all the information to your specific home.”

The process will allow residents to see how much they pay for a specific service, whether it be fire, police, economic development or other, and determine if they would like to pay more or less for the service.

The city is engaging residents in advance to ensure that their input is considered as part of the development of the budget draft.

The survey includes charts, links and background information on various services to help guide residents throughout the process.

“Before council directs any action, we first want to understand what residents’ priorities are,” said Mayor Mike Ruttan.

Results will be compiled and presented at the Nov. 14 regular meeting for council’s consideration.

To complete the survey, visit www.portalberni.ca/budget. Hard copies are also available.

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