The tax rate bylaw is a functional law which is how the Town of Eckville is able to raise its revenue.
To give a third reading for a bylaw, it has to be unanimous in the same meeting, said Town CAO Jack Ramsden.
“The tax rate bylaw is one of those few bylaws because it’s not up for debate since it is a business bylaw which breaks down assessments by class. We’ve got non-residential (commercial), residential, farm land, and other classes.”
The tax rate bylaw is used to raise taxes.
“When we pass that bylaw the money that it raises is to operate. The bylaw will tell the total expenses, list how many dollars we’re going to raise throughout fees, rates, utility rates, and penalties that people don’t pay. The net difference is what we go to the taxpayer for and what we collect our taxes on.”
Before the payment plans came in, municipalities had one day where the taxes were due, said Ramsden.
“From a cash flow point of view, and from our perspective, we liked it better. For our resident who is on a fixed monthly income it’s easy to balance. We’ve got money coming in and you don’t have to pay all at once and that’s what we like about it.”
The tax bylaw really is just a tool to pay for the budget, said Ramsden.
In the budget there is also money to help keep the tax rate down, said Ramsden.
“The budget and the tax rate bylaw are quite tied together because even if we are going to use reserves or a fund to keep taxes in line we are going to do that in the budget. In order to change the tax rate bylaw you have to change the budget.”
People can’t appeal the tax rate bylaw, said Ramsden.
“The tax rate bylaw is one of the few that doesn’t require advertisement because the public doesn’t have a right to appeal or to petition this bylaw. We need it and it’s a given so it’s one of the few that’s not appealable.”
The tax rate bylaw was passed so it is now law.