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Town budget explained

By Randy Thoms Apr 13, 2023 | 9:21 PM

Fort Frances Treasurer Dawn Galusha. File photo. Image: Randy Thoms

The town of Fort Frances is providing some clarity to this year’s budget.

Council approved the budget in April but only provided a full explanation this week.

The budget is balanced and includes a tax increase to residential ratepayers of 4.78 per cent.

Commercial taxes raised by 4.16 per cent.

Treasurer Dawn Galusha says the exact dollar amount will vary based on the assessed value of one’s home.

“If your assessment remained the same, which most will, you will be paying slightly more than you did the year before. If you had a $100,000 home, the increase is $95.77. A $200,000 home, $191 54, and then $300,000 would be $287 30,” says Galusha.

Municipal taxes account for about 55 per cent of all revenue received.

Mayor Andrew Hallikas says part of the tax increase is going toward an asset management plan.

“While the residential rate is around 4.78%, the province mandates that we put away money into an asset management plan. So 1.4% of that is going into that asset management plan,” says Hallikas.

Dollarwise, it is about $2.18 million that is being socked away for future improvements.

The expenses paid to outside boards and agencies continue to have an impact on the budget.

“Thirty-nine dollars and nineteen cents of every $100 that we collect in taxes is uncontrollable, and $60.81 is controlled by the municipality,” says Galusha.

The town is paying slightly more to the Northwestern Health Unit.

The municipal share to the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board increased by $41,000.

Policing costs did decrease by $43,000.

The capital budget came in at over $16 million.

Many of the projects were planned for 2022 but were never carried out because of the flooding.


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