City administration is defending the proposed 4.7 per cent increase in property taxes in Saskatoon for next year. The majority of the increase is needed to cover spending by police services.

Murray Totland, city manager, says that while police are asking for an additional six officers, the remaining city departments are not increasing staff. "We believe we can provide the same services we provided this year, next year – without adding staff, even though we're growing as a city. I think that was the challenge that went out. To our credit, administration responded and we were able to come in without any new increases in cost."

City council has set aside three nights next week to debate the budget, beginning Tuesday.