Tax rate increases of 3 per cent, 3.7 per cent and 2 per cent for residential properties over the next three years will be proposed when the Town’s three-year budget comes before council on Monday.
The next two years will see a zero per cent tax increase for non-residential properties, rising by 1.5 per cent in 2017.
A residential tax rate increase of 4 per cent for each of the three years was proposed at the start of this year’s budget discussions. Town communications office Joanne Gaudet said the final numbers were adjusted in light of new assessment increases. The 3 per cent increase is inclusive of payments on a new firehall and the NexSource Centre, as well as some of the Town’s other major projects, she said.
Deliberations on the Town’s three-year 2015-2017 budget wrapped up on Saturday. On Monday, council will approve to have the budget drafted and circulated for public input before giving it final approval next month.
“The 3 per cent rate increase in 2015 is the proposed formal budget increase, whereas the 3.7 and the 2 per cent in other years are part of our overall three-year budget plan, and we will review annually,” said Gaudet.
The three-year budget, she added, is more transparent than a typical one-year budget, allowing ratepayers an insight into future projects and town growth.
Included in it are economic development initiatives, a social needs assessment, a special transportation study, a municipal census and the implementation of an infrastructure study, which includes increased water and wastewater rates, water meter replacements and a street rehabilitation program.
Other highlights include a tree removal and replacement program at $20,000 in both 2016 and 2017, and website re-design at $20,000 in 2016 and $60,000 in 2017. The latter will be part of a larger re-branding process to be launched in stages.
Full details of the proposed budget will be made public following Monday night’s (Nov. 10) council meeting. A budget open house information session is scheduled for Nov. 22.