Keeping taxes affordable is important to the well-being of our businesses and residents. Like any business or resident, the needs and wants within a municipality are often greater than what the municipality and community can afford at one time. Each year as part of the budget process, choices must be made.
The Community Charter requires that Council adopt a Five-Year Financial Plan bylaw each year.
2017 - 2021 Financial Plan:
Town Council has adopted a Financial Plan for 2017 that will result in a minimal increase of 0.66% in municipal property taxes. The net impact of the very modest tax increase on the average residential property’s tax bill is about $9 for the year, or about $0.75 a month. Once again, there is no change to Water or Sewer rates.
Mayor Steve Price is proud to note that the tax increase has been kept under 1% for the second consecutive year. This has been accomplished without impact to services or the long-term financial health of the Town. Taxpayers are getting more for their tax dollar, as the Town continues to enhance its policing and firefighting capacity, is putting more funding into economic development, is increasing its support to community organizations, and continues to look after its infrastructure. In fact, virtually the entire increase this year is a result of the Town putting more money into replacing its infrastructure. Council and staff worked very hard to keep increases to a minimum, while protecting the high level of service that our residents expect.
Total municipal taxes for the average residence are just over $1,387 per year, or $116 per month. For this monthly amount, the Town provides fire and police services, roads maintenance, parks and public space maintenance, community and emergency planning, bylaw enforcement, as well as a range of related community services. While many of these services may be taken for granted, the value received for $116 per month compares favourably with many common utility bills.
Please note that the tax changes for other jurisdictions, which make up about half the tax bill, are not yet finalized. As always, the tax increase for any individual residence will vary, depending on its assessment change relative to the average home value, which is about $514,360 this year.
The Draft 2017-2021 Financial Plan was introduced to Council and the public at the Committee of the Whole meeting of January 16th. It was then considered by Council at the Committee of the Whole meeting of February 6th, and finalized on February 21st.
Copies of staff presentations from all three meetings are linked below, along with the public budget document. Please note that the four items should be considered together. Reading the document without also checking out the presentations will likely not provide enough information.
- 2017 - 2021 Financial Plan
- January 16, 2017 Presentation
- February 6, 2017 Presentation
- February 21, 2017 Presentation
The Committee meeting was also recorded, as are all Town Council and Committee of the Whole meetings. For those seeking the most complete introduction to the financial plan, the above presentations may be viewed together with the recording of the meetings. The first meeting is just under 45 minutes long, and can be found here. The second is about 30 minutes long, and can be found here. The final meeting can be found here.
The following resources are available to provide more details on the financial plan.
Previous Financial Plans: