Houston 2021 Budget Survey

Budget planning is one of the most important functions of Municipal government. Council for the District of Houston would like to gather information from the public about how they would like to see their tax dollars utilized. The results of this survey will be compiled and taken into consideration during the 2021 budget planning process. If you have any questions in regard to this survey, please contact communications@houston.ca. 

To answer the survey it is important to keep these things in mind:

The District has the following sources of revenue to pay for services and infrastructure throughout Houston: property taxes, utility fees, user fees, reserves, and grants. Debt can also be used as a source of funding (only for capital infrastructure financing and not to support ongoing operations), but it is important to limit debt to a manageable amount and understand that there are long-term interest payments that accompany debt. 

The revenue listed above contributes to paying for services and infrastructure throughout the District, including emergency services, transportation networks, road maintenance, snow removal, leisure facility, etc. 

Each year the District must have a balanced budget, meaning we cannot spend more on services and infrastructure than we are receiving in revenue. Surplus and reserve funding can also be used to balance the budget, but this is basically the same as drawing from our savings and is subject to conditions. Due to inflation, revenues must continuously increase if we want to maintain our levels of service. 

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* 1. Which answer below best describes your living situation?

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* 2. How familiar are you with the District of Houston's budget and budget planning processes? You do not need to be familiar with the budget to participate in this survey, we just want to assess how familiar the community is with our budget.

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* 3. What do you feel are the top 5 most important community issues in Houston? (Choose only 5)

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* 4. What do you feel are the top 5 most important services/programs that the District of Houston provides? (Choose 5)

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* 5. Please rate the following services based on how well you feel they are delivered by the District to the community?

  Excellent Good Satisfactory Poor Very Poor I Don't Know
Animal Control
Arts, Culture, & Heritage
Bylaw Enforcement
Cemetery Services
Claude Parish Memorial Arena
Community Grant Writing Services
Emergency Services: Fire, Road Rescue, and Medical
Facilitation of Economic Development
Garbage Collection
Information, Customer Service, and Public Engagement
Leisure Facility Pool & Fitness Centre
Maintenance of Parks, Greenspaces, and Trails
Managing Public Funds
Planning & Development Services
Road Construction & Maintenance
Sewers, Water, & Stormwater Management
Snow Removal

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* 6. The District is required to have a balanced budget each year. What broad policy tools do you prefer for ensuring that the District is taking in enough revenue to offset the costs of service provision?

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* 7. What do you think the property tax change should be in 2021 based on your expectations for services and infrastructure investment?

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* 8. If you answered in favor of a property tax increase above 2.5%, what services would you like to see improved?

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* 9. If you answered in favour of a property tax increase of 2% or less, no increase, or a decrease in taxes, what services would you like to see decreased?

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* 10. Costs increase each year for maintaining current service levels. In regards to snow removal services, how do you feel the District should continue?

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* 11. What age group do you belong to?

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* 12. Gender: How do you identify?

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* 13. How did you find out about the District's 2021 Budget Survey?

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* 14. In what ways would you prefer to engage with the District about future budget planning activities? 

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* 15. How would you prefer to stay informed about District initiatives?

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