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Rothesay Town Hall. Image: Staff photo

Rothesay Approves One-Cent Tax Reduction

By Brad Perry Nov 16, 2022 | 3:00 PM

Rothesay residents will see a one-cent tax rate cut next year, but one councillor does not think it goes far enough.

Council has approved the town’s $21.8-million operating budget and set the tax rate at $1.19 per $100 of assessment.

The town saw its property tax revenue increase by nearly $2 million amid major assessment increases by the province.

Coun. Don Shea said he was hoping to see a tax cut of at least three cents to help residents offset those increases.

“Given all the difficulties that people are having with respect to inflation and so on and so forth, we’re in a position we can do something,” Shea said ahead of Monday night’s vote.

Deputy Mayor Matt Alexander said while property tax revenues are up, so are the town’s expenditures.

The fire budget increased by nearly 11 per cent while policing costs are up by almost eight per cent.

The budget for transportation services, including salt and snow removal, has increased by 14 per cent. That includes $350,000 in additional fuel expenses.

Environmental health services, which includes garbage collection and disposal, are up by around 25 per cent due to increased tipping fees and fuel price increases.

“We have to get our money from somewhere and that’s the only place we can get the money. If we start taking more money out of the budget then we’re going to have to figure out where that’s going to come from,” said Alexander.

Town treasurer Doug MacDonald noted that reducing the tax rate by an additional two cents would cost $338,000.

According to MacDonald, any revenue reduction as a result of lowering the tax rate would be reflected in a reduction of capital from operating.

Coun. Bill McGuire pointed out that the town dropped its tax rate by four cents just last year.

“We would all like to be able to look at our neighbours tomorrow and say ‘hey, we’ve dropped your taxes by three or four cents’ but the reality is the numbers don’t add up. We have to pay our bills and we have to be responsible,” said McGuire.

“Last year, we had extra, we gave back. This year, we’re giving some back, but we’re not able to give back as much because we have additional costs.”

Council also approved a five per cent increase in water and sewer increases for the upcoming year.


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