Placentia budget includes dramatic mill rate reduction
Town expects to spend $4.4 million in 2016; CAO retiring in April
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