2% hike

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL News Staff

South Glen­garry coun­cil ten­ta­tively ap­proved a 1.97 per cent tax in­crease at a spe­cial bud­get meet­ing March 21.

The in­crease means av­er­age home­own­ers will be pay­ing $39.07 more for the res­i­den­tial prop­erty tax por­tion of their town­ship tax bills in 2017, based on the MPAC as­sess­ment value of $202,183 for the av­er­age res­i­dence. That hike trans­lates into an av­er­age town­ship tax bill of $1,044 for 2017. The Counties’ levy, a 1.8 per cent in­crease from 2016, re­sults in an ad­di­tional $22. The ed­u­ca­tion tax rate for 2017 has yet to be es­tab­lished.

South Glen­garry coun­cil­lor Lyle War­den ex­pressed his de­sire last week to keep any tax rate in­crease “at the two, two-and-ahalf per cent range,” the av­er­age in­crease over the past sev­eral years. Thanks to some major cuts to the ini­tial draft bud­get to­tal of $9,237,627 – to­talling ap­prox­i­mately $ 624,000 – and af­ter three-and-a-half-hours of dis­cus­sions – that goal was achieved.

An ini­tially-al­lot­ted $390,000 for re­pairs to the bridge on Third Line Road near Bainsville was sliced to $130,000.

Gen­eral man­ager of in­fras­truc- ture ser­vices Ewen Mac­Don­ald ex­plained that com­ple­tion of the project in 2017 was “con­di­tional on fund­ing” and that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity in­tends to sub­mit an ap­pli­ca­tion to the On­tario Com­mu­nity In­fra­struc­ture Fund (OCIF) to help off­set the cost of the project.

The $ 130,000 would be the town­ship’s one-third share of the cost, while the fed­eral and pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments would split two-thirds of the bill.

Ad­di­tional sav­ings were re­al­ized when coun­cil opted to turn down grant re­quests in the amounts of $32,789 and $35,000, re­spec­tively, from a group look­ing to stage a Cana­dian sesqui­cen­ten­nial event (Clas­siqu’Arts SD&G 150) at the St. Raphael’s Ruins this Au­gust, and from the Corn­wall/SDG Your Arts Coun­cil (YAC).

Coun­cil also agreed that a $ 100,000 re­quest from the Glen­garry Fen­ci­bles Trust – the local, not-for-profit cit­i­zens group seek­ing to re­vi­tal­ize the Bishop’s House in St. Raphael’s – which was ini­tially a re­quest for $25,000 a year over the next five years, should be cut to $25,000 for 2017.

The town­ship’s 2017 net re­quire­ment, the to­tal dol­lar value in taxes that it needs to col­lect this year to main­tain its cur­rent level of ser­vices, is $8,613,627 – or $544,051 more than the 2016 to­tal of $8,069,576.

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