Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Taxes in the Crowsnest Pass 2015

Well we are almost at the end of the budget process, we did first reading of the mill rate bylaw last night.

The common questions I get asked:

How much are taxes going up?  2%

This will generate an additional $140,000 in tax revenue, which will be off set by a $146,000 drop in the School foundation rate. So unless your assessment went way up, the average resident should see virtually no increase in their over all taxes.

Is the mill rate going down? yes 3.2% our assessment base was up this year with 1% new development and a little over 3% in increased property values so the mill rate had to decease or taxes would have gone up an additional 3%.

What's happening to our utility bills? They are going up $4.98 per month.

What about Franchise Fees? No change.

Is the municipality hiring new staff? We will be hiring one position this fall to replace a person who is anticipated to retire next year. (CUPE position).

Are we putting money into reserves? Yes 2% of our operating budget.

The problem today we still have a deficit of $117,000

Municipal Options?

Increase revenue by that amount.
Decrease spending
Run with a deficit which with provincial approval we could have up to three years to fix.


When we sat down with Administration on Monday April 13 to resolve the deficit we came up with the following cuts. The first item the municipality was informed late Friday that almost $20,000 the province as always paid us In Lieu of taxes on the seniors buildings (Westwinds and Tecumesh Manor) were cut in the most recent provincial budget so our deficit actually increased at the start of the meeting.

·      Decrease in Senior’s housing revenue of ($18,904)
·      Reduce administration contingency budget by $50,000
·      Remove budget for by-elections of $4,500
·      Reduce Deputy Fire Chief contracted services by $20,000
·      Increase enforcement services fines revenue by $10,000
·      Budget to receive $50,000 back from the 2014 Hillcrest 100th anniversary
·      Reduce costs to produce municipal newsletter by $10,000
·      Reduce fire/rescue budget by $5,000


Anonymous said...

Oh the games all council play. So if my assessment stays the same my property taxes stay the same as last year is how I read your post. Is this correct?
But then you turn around and nail us on our utility bills. So it seems to me that my overall tax increase is somewhere around 2- 3 %. Considering that the price of fuel has dropped considerably which is very likely a huge expenses for the municapality I will have to give this council a "f".

Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding a "F" so what would it take for them to score a "C"?
10% tax cut and free utilities maybe?

Anonymous said...

This council all yelled and screamed at the previous council for raising taxes, franchise fees and property taxes.So yes , they get an F as they should have actually been able to make some cuts.A "c" would have been no increases and an "a" would have been a 3% decrease.
I actually think that councils and all governments will have to learn to live within their means. This would mean that any tax increase would never be higher than inflation and all new infastructure would come from growth.

Crowsnest Pass Home said...

New Infrastructure from "Growth".

This years new growth will bring in about $60,000.
It costs $250,000 to do one block of complete service. Water, sewer, repaving etc.
A snow plow truck $120,000.

Anonymous said...

It does not matter what things cost.You must live within your means. We can not continuously keep raising things faster than after tax wage increases. If you look at what happened in Europe and the austerity measures would be a good lesson for all levels of government.
And just for the record, Dean you were one of the biggest complainers of the previous council'S budgets and other increases.
Have a great weekend

Anonymous said...

2% in two years well done keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I also noticed the hiring of a person months ahead of someone leaving. Only in the public service where you never have to worry; just get more from the taxpayer to cover it. I agree, F+

Crowsnest Pass Home said...

The reason for this hiring is two fold, one to upgrade our electrical system and two to prepare for an impending retirement.