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Property taxes going down in Antigonish county

By Jacob Moore May 31, 2024 | 5:19 PM

People in Antigonish county will have lower property taxes as part of the 2024-25 budget.

The budget primarily focuses on education spending and policing, with additional focuses on grants for community groups and maintaining sewer rates.

Warden Owen McCarron says the county has had moderate growth in the last few years, which helped them pay off some of their debt to lower taxes.

“We felt there’s a lot of challenges out there right now, a lot of extra costs on homeowners, and we felt we’re in a position to do a little bit and reduce the rate,” says McCarron.

McCarron says that sends a good message, that Antigonish county is open for business and a good place to live or set up shop.

The total budget is approved at $19,969,391.

The budget highlights include:

  • $4,408,444 paid to the province for education
  • $4,152,319 for RCMP, fire protection and emergency management
  • $3,716,964 for general government services
  • $3,223,530 for sewers and solid waste collection
  • $2,635,919 for capital projects
  • $2,251,480 for community programs, recreation and non-profit grants
  • $2,122,007 in funding from other levels of government and transfers from reserves
  • $446,530 for sidewalks, road maintenance and snow removal
  • $434,765 for debt payment
  • $380,947 for planning and development services, streetlights
  • $322,500 for the People’s Place Library and the Antigonish Heritage Museum
  • $108,000 for community development

For 13 years, taxes haven’t changed in the county, says McCarron.

Now, the residential fee will drop 3 cents to 85 cents per $100 of assessed property.

The commercial rate will drop 1 cent to $1.43 per $100 of assessed property.

This is the lowest commercial rate in the whole province, and one of the lowest residential rates, according to a news release.

“We’ve utilized every opportunity to save money, and, you know, we don’t jump into things that we can’t afford,” says McCarron.

He says there were some challenges this year, like a huge snowstorm in February, which made the municipality spend more than $50,000 over their winter works budget on that one storm.

The county is dealing with rising prices, like all municipalities, but because of growth in population and property assessments, along with strategic investing, the county still managed to have enough money to reduce taxes, he says.

Plus, interest rates, at 6 per cent year,  “were a little higher,” which helped.

The city is also putting in some mini pitch fields for soccer and baseball, which are more accessible for people with mobility issues, he says.

The sewer rate is staying the same at $316.29 per unit.

Property tax bills will be mailed the first week of June, and payments are due June 28, the county says in a news release.