Poll tax in­crease on the hori­zon

Town of For­tune ap­proves 2019 bud­get

The Southern Gazette - - Saltwire Homes - BY COLIN FARRELL FOR­TUNE N.L. [email protected]­erngazette.ca

Non-prop­erty own­ers in the Town of For­tune will see a slight in­crease in the an­nual amount they pay to the town coun­cil for pro­vided ser­vices.

The poll tax is go­ing up to $370 a year, an in­crease of $20.

The de­ci­sion was pre­sented dur­ing a meet­ing of coun­cil on Mon­day, Dec. 3, as coun­cil ap­proved its mu­nic­i­pal bud­get for 2019.

The bud­get bal­ances at $1,417,39.01 for rev­enue and ex­penses.

The bud­get for the new year in­cludes sev­eral other in­creases, in­clud­ing: a min­i­mum prop­erty tax of $370; $60 for a busi­ness per­mit fee, and $50 for a per­mit for res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion and ren­o­va­tions.

And for those who start con­struc­tion projects with­out a coun­cil per­mit, the town is in­tro­duc­ing a new non-com­pli­ance fee of $30.

Pet own­ers are also tar­geted with a new fee — $60 if an an­i­mal is caught roam­ing. This fee will help off­set the cost of cap­tur­ing, hous­ing and feed­ing the an­i­mal.

While the town did lower its mill rate for res­i­den­tial prop­erty taxes for 2019 — from 8.5 per cent to 7.5 per­cent — this will not trans­late to a tax break be­cause prop­erty val­ues have in­creased.

Mayor Charles Pen­well ex­plained, “The av­er­age prop­erty went up 12.5 per cent be­cause of re­assess­ment, so we re­duced the as­sessed value but in­creased the min­i­mum (prop­erty tax).

“So now ev­ery­body is pay­ing a lit­tle more rather than just the peo­ple whose (prop­erty) val­ues went up a lot.”

Those ad­just­ments will add $20,000 to the town’s rev­enues for 2019.

The com­mer­cial mill rate re­mains set at 11 per cent.

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