Rate drops, levy rises
Faced with a reduction in provincial funding, North Stormont council has approved in principle its 2019 municipal budget that increases its total municipal tax revenues by five per cent.
However, because overall assessment has increased by 7.12 per cent, the municipality can generate more revenue even though its tax rate has dropped.
The township portion on an assessment of $100,000 has decreased from $359 to $347.
In 2018, municipal taxes on an average residential property assessed at $204,000 were $734. This year, the owner of an average home assessed at $210,000 will pay $729 in municipal property taxes. Individual results may vary. The net increase is five per cent on all properties. The tax rate is different depending if it’s residential, commercial, industrial or farm, points out finance director Catherine Borelly.
The numbers do not account for the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry levies and school boards’ requisitions.
For every tax dollar spent, 32 cents are retained by the municipality; 53 go to the counties and 15 to education.
The provincial funding allocation for North Stormont was reduced by $119,500 in 2018 and another $101,600 in 2019 for a total of $221,100. This equates to an eight per cent reduction in provincial funding.
“Based on our requirements, the Township needed to compensate for this huge reduction,” says the municipality.
“Like every household, the township needs to budget according to cost increases for fuel, goods and services, labour, etc. in order to maintain local services such as waste management, fire services and roads,” said Mayor Jim Wert.
“However, we also need to be cognizant of increasing our reserves. Our capital infrastructure needs investment and therefore dollars to support these expenditures are also required. The residents of North Stormont receive good value for their tax dollars.”
Some 2019 municipal budget highlights include: building department software, replacement of a 20-year-old snow plow, three bridge replacements, and fire department pagers. The budget will formally be adopted in April.