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Northwest municipalities struggle to keep taxes down

By Tim Davidson May 11, 2023 | 10:41 AM

NOMA President Wendy Landry speaks to representatives during the 2023 Thunder Bay District Municipal League meeting on March 24, 2023 (Adam Riley/Acadia Broadcasting)

2023 has been a tough year for municipal taxes.

At least three municipalities including Thunder Bay, Kenora and Fort Frances had tax increases of 5 percent or more.

President of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association Wendy Landry says inflation was just part of the problem.

“It’s always an issue with the costs rising with everything from fuel for our trucks and our garbage trucks and our roads to infrastructure costs and making sure that they are maintained,” reports Landry after the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association conference last week.

“Those costs are always rising as well because we know in the northwest, to do all that we always pay, it seems double.”

Landry adds there is another reason why it was a difficult budget year for many municipalities.

“Especially if you are a newly elected municipal leader and you have no idea…no previous experience with municipal budgets and how they work.  I think it was a bit of an eye opener for some with discussions on how to develop budgets and what that would look like.”

Sioux Lookout had the lowest tax increase at 1.7 percent, followed by Dryden at 2.65 percent.


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