More tax collection proposed in 2015 South Stormont budget

(Newswatch Group/File)

LONG SAULT – It looks as though South Stormont ratepayers might be in for a increase in their municipal taxes this year.

The draft budget proposes a tax rate increase and would call on the municipality to collect just over $5.7 million in property taxes this year, compared to $4.9 million asked for in 2014.

Based on all things being equal to last year, it would mean an extra $98.33 in 2015 for a homeowner with a house worth $199,000.

Last year, a ratepayer of a $199K home shelled out nearly $787 on the municipal portion of their taxes, which makes up a third of the total tax bill (counties are roughly 50 per cent and roughly 15-16 per cent for education).

But, in her budget report, Treasurer Johanna Barkley says there are a number of unknowns still to be figured out, including the education portion of the tax bill, which is calculated by the United Counties.

The township also has to review its 2014 year-end audit at a future council meeting.

As for tax collection targets, Barkley states that collecting $5.1 million “would appear appropriate” based on assessment growth (1.93 per cent) and a cost-of-living increase (two per cent) and $5.3 million would have to be brought in to “maintain the 2014 tax rate.”

The 2015 draft budget sees costs going up for running local government, public works, fire and rescue, parks and recreation and development.

There are declines in capital projects for roads and bridges and waste management.

According to MPAC data, the average home in South Stormont is worth $199,000 – up from $191,000 in 2014.

South Stormont will hold another budget meeting on Feb. 11 at 9 a.m.

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