Bud­get stays on course

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Front page - Jonathan.par­[email protected]­acket.ca Twit­ter: @je­j­par­sons

Tilley says this in­crease in the residential mill rate was done to keep prop­erty taxes around the same level with av­er­age as­sessed prop­erty val­ues de­clin­ing up­wards of 15 per cent. He says the hike in mill rate should equate to lit­tle or no change to the level of ser­vice or tax bills for res­i­dents com­pared to 2018.

“It be­came ap­par­ent that … the town sim­ply couldn’t main­tain the level of ser­vice that peo­ple have come to ex­pect,” said Tilley. He adds that this in­crease does not bur­den the tax­payer, but rather keeps rev­enues at a sim­i­lar rate for 2019.

In fact, they used the ex­am­ple of a home as­sessed at $250,000 in 2018, with a 6.5 mill rate, which would pay $1,625 in prop­erty tax.

They then at­test that as­sum­ing a prop­erty value de­crease to $222,500 in 2019, with a 7.4 mill rate, that same house­hold would pay $1,646.50 in prop­erty tax.

Coun­cil’s re­mu­ner­a­tion was over­hauled in the 2019 bud­get, ac­count­ing for the now-elim­i­nated one-third tax break for coun­cil mem­bers.

Tilley ex­plained the re­vised Clarenville re­mu­ner­a­tion rate was also de­cided on to bring com­pen­sa­tion for coun­cil in line with other com­mu­ni­ties of sim­i­lar size, like Bay Roberts, Tor­bay and Carbonear.

Up un­til now, the Mayor re­ceived $10,000 an­nu­ally, the Deputy Mayor re­ceived $8,000 and each coun­cil­lor got $7,000, to­talling $53,000 or 0.48 per cent of the bud­get.

In the new scheme, the Mayor re­ceives $14,864, the Deputy Mayor $11,891 and the coun­cil­lors $10,405 for a to­tal of $78,780 or 0.70 per cent of an $11.25 mil­lion bud­get.

Bor­row­ing con­tin­ues to be the main ex­pen­di­ture for town, with 35.3 per cent of the town’s 2019 spend­ing des­ig­nated as fis­cal ser­vices. The debt ser­vice ra­tio for the town in 2019 is 20 per cent.

For a com­plete break­down of the rev­enues and ex­pen­di­tures by depart­ment, see the graphs pro­vided by the town.

“There are cer­tain parts of that bud­get that I’m very pleased to see, cer­tainly our at­ten­tion

to strug­gling busi­ness in this econ­omy and our em­pha­sis on eco­nomic devel­op­ment as well,” said Russell at the con­clu­sion of the meet­ing. “In spite of the slow­down in the econ­omy it’s nice to see our con­tin­ued in­vest­ment in the core in­fra­struc­ture needs, which is our roads, our wa­ter and

our sewer. And de­spite the tight times we are still able to do that.

“It’s a bud­get that bal­ances and keeps the course in terms of what we would like to keep on do­ing in the com­ing years.”

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