Car­bon­ear rolls out bud­get

Town low­ers mil rate, in­creases taxes

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY MELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­

Res­i­dents in the Town of Car­bon­ear will see some re­lief from their in­flated mu­nic­i­pal as­sess­ments thanks to the town’s newly re­leased bud­get.

Coun. Ray Noel, who chairs the fi­nance com­mit­tee, pre­sented the 2016 mu­nic­i­pal bud­get on Mon­day, Dec. 21.

The big­gest changes will come in the form of a mil rate de­crease for both res­i­den­tial homes and com­mer­cial build­ings.

A full point de­duc­tion will be made to res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties, go­ing from 7.6 to 6.6, while com­mer­cial will go from 10.25 to 9.75.

This de­crease in the res­i­den­tial mil rate will see taxes in­crease by an av­er­age of four per cent.

Noel calls it a mod­est in­crease in the face of ap­prox­i­mately 20 per cent in­creases in property val­ues.

He told The Com­pass that the coun­cil came to the de­ci­sion by con­sid­er­ing both the bud­get and the tax­pay­ers, not­ing they didn’t want to be bur­den­ing home­own­ers with sig­nif­i­cant in­creases.

Along with the mil rate de­crease, the town has also re­leased its full bud­get. The Bud­get One of the first an­nounced items in the town’s bud­get is the new pub­lic works de­pot. Since pur­chas­ing the land ear­lier this year, plans have been de­signed and con­struc­tion is ex­pected to get un­der­way next spring.

Along with the new de­pot, ad­di­tional fund­ing has been al­lo­cated to­wards street up­grades, as­phalt and side­walk con­struc­tion. A to­tal of just un­der $1.9 mil­lion has been placed in the bud­get for trans­porta­tion-re­lated ex­penses.

With the changes to fed­eral reg­u­la­tions on waste­water, Car­bon­ear has placed $100,000 in re­serve to help off­set the po­ten­tial costs of up­grad­ing the town’s sewage out­put sys­tem. Reg­u­la­tions are ex­pected to go into ef­fect in 2020, and towns must cease dump­ing waste into the har­bours.

Tourism has been a big item for the coun­cil over the last few years, es­pe­cially with re­spect to re­vi­tal­iz­ing the down­town area. The town an­nounced it would con­tinue to seek fund­ing for the down­town and con­tinue to en­cour­age busi­nesses to in­vest in the area.

In ad­di­tion to down­town Car­bon­ear, more fund­ing has been al­lo­cated to walk­ing trails and en­hanc­ing lo­cal play­grounds.

In to­tal, al­most $900,000 will go to­wards cul­ture and recre­ation, which in­cludes the an­nual swim­ming pool bud­get.

One of the big­gest changes in­volves the eli­ma­tion of credit card pay­ments. Over $43,000 was spent last year in credit card fees to the town. So next year, res­i­dents are asked to use Plas­ Noel said this will take out the fees re­quired for tak­ing credit cards at the coun­cil of­fice, but still give peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to pay with that method of pay­ment.

Fam­i­lies with in­comes of $35,000 or less are el­i­gi­ble for an in­ter­est re­duc­tion in their property and wa­ter taxes. This is up from $30,000 last year.

The to­tal bud­get came in at $6,645,687, al­most $1 mil­lion above last year’s bud­get. It was passed unan­i­mously last Mon­day.

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