Cornwall looking at 4.3% tax levy to start

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – In its final year, Cornwall city council will have a big hill to climb in terms of the 2018 budget.

During an overview Monday at a strategic planning session, CFO Tracey Bailey showed councillors a tax levy (the amount of taxes collected) will have to increase 4.3 per cent in order to keep the status quo for services.

That’s nearly $3 million, based on this year’s levy of nearly $67.3 million.

For comparison, this year’s budget ended with a minus 1.49 per cent tax levy increase. With assessment factored in that resulted in a tax increase of 1.70 per cent or an extra $38 a year on a home valued at $161,899.

That increase will vary based on whether your home is above or below the example given.

Some of the expenses weighing on the municipality in 2018 include refunds for municipal property assessment appeals among commercial landowners as well as the potential for life cycle costing for the city’s capital budget.

Given the massive increase, Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy is wondering if a public meeting should be held to get honest public feedback on potential service cutbacks.

Council is hoping to start budget talks soon with an aim of getting the 2018 budget completed by the new year.