The bylaw that drives the revenues, that operates the municipality, it's programs it's facilities and everything else that matters to us the taxpayers.
Well after five months of intense debate, numerous meeting, two years of working on the tri annual budget and a Council commitment to not increase the mill rate by more than 2.5% per year we have a big oops.
Here at the eleventh hour we find out that the 2% reduction in the assessment base that administration and council had anticipated is really a 5% reduction.
What does that mean in simple terms? a short fall of "$295,000" this year, what did administration offer as a solution to that short fall? Two options, one to take $295,000 out of reserves or two to increase the mill rate by 7.5%.
What did council do, they voted to have administration come back with a 4% reduction in the operating budget despite administration claims that the budget has already been cut to the bone and that they would now have to look at reducing services and programs. Let`s not lose site of the fact that cutting the operating budget by 4% over a twelve month period is one thing by the time the mill rate is in place one third of the year will have gone by, in reality that 4% will become 6% over an eight month period.
Timing-Council must give the mill rate bylaw three reading, which they have not been willing to do in one meeting so they have to find $300,000 in savings and schedule another special meeting between now and next Tuesday the 16th. If third reading is not done by the 16th bills will not go out on time, (April 30th) the province requires that residents have 60 days from the date of billing to pay their bills. Administration claims that somewhere between 65-70% of our residents pay their taxes in one payment at the June 30th dead line. Which means if the bills are late the municipality runs into a cash flow problem at the end of June.
Can you believe that we are in this position on April 8th after five months of the Budget process.