Pla­cen­tia bud­get in­cludes dra­matic mill rate re­duc­tion

Town ex­pects to spend $4.4 mil­lion in 2016; CAO re­tir­ing in April

The Compass - - NEWS - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON editor@CBN­com­pass.ca

With res­i­den­tial as­sess­ment val­ues up sub­stan­tially in the com­mu­nity, the Town of Pla­cen­tia elected to make some big changes to its tax struc­ture for 2016.

The res­i­den­tial prop­erty tax mill rate went down from 8.5 mills to 6.2. Among the larger mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s in the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion-Pla­cen­tia area, that de­cline is the largest in the re­gion.

“When the mu­nic­i­pal as­sess­ments came out and our av­er­age (in­crease) was at about 55 per cent, when they ar­rived in the mail­boxes we did com­mit to look­ing at the mill rate, and upon a com­par­i­son of num­bers, we went with a mill rate of 6.2,” Mayor Wayne Power told The Com­pass last week.

“There’ll be peo­ple that will end up pay­ing slightly more, there’ll be peo­ple that will end up pay­ing slightly less, and peo­ple who end up pay­ing around the same.”

All com­mer­cial and busi­ness mill rates were re­duced by halfa-mill, while wa­ter and sewer taxes, fees and li­censes for 2016 are un­changed.

The bud­get for 2016 is up marginally from last year, with the town set to spend $4.4 mil­lion com­pared to $4.3 mil­lion in 2015. Among its com­mit­ments for 2016, the town is in year two of a col­lec­tive agree­ment with union­ized work­ers that re­sults in a four per cent pay in­crease.

The town is also tak­ing a hit in rev­enue this year due to the ex- pi­ra­tion of a tax agree­ment with Vale that net­ted the mu­nic­i­pal­ity $300,000 an­nu­ally.

“We have an ar­range­ment with them on a month-tomonth ba­sis un­til they move out, and that’s ex­pected to hap­pen rather soon,” said the mayor.

With ag­ing in­fra­struc­ture an on­go­ing con­cern in the area, Power hopes pro­vin­cial and fed­eral gov­ern­ments will man­age to help in­vest in projects this year.

An­other change for the town will come within the next cou­ple of months when Pla­cen­tia’s chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer says so long. Ed O’Keefe, who has served the town in that po­si­tion for over 10 years, re­cently gave no­tice of his in­ten­tion to re­tire. He will of­fi­cially do so in April, and the town is al­ready ad­ver­tis­ing for his re­place­ment.

“We’re hop­ing to move for­ward with the re­cruit­ment process,” said Power.

“There’ll be peo­ple that will end up pay­ing slightly more, there’ll be peo­ple that will end up pay­ing slightly less, and peo­ple who end up pay­ing around the same.” Mayor Wayne Power

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