Mount Pearl, CBS Avoid Tax Rate Hikes in 2022, Despite Falling Income

Mount Pearl Mayor Dave Aker has said maintaining tax rates is a priority in the city’s 2022 budget. (Mike Simms / CBC)

The City of Mount Pearl and the City of Conception Bay South this week released balanced budgets for 2022, with the two municipalities avoiding tax rate increases for residents and businesses, despite lower municipal assessments.

Mount Pearl Mayor Dave Aker said it was good news the city had avoided tax hikes despite a 2.1% drop in property values.

“Keeping taxes online was really important to us,” he said.

Aker said the health and safety of its residents “was first and foremost” in the mind of the council.

“Given the times when some people have been put on the streets by the pandemic, we wanted to make sure that we do not raise taxes on our residents and businesses as we all continue to recover from COVID,” he said. he declared.

Aker said 2021 brought inflation and soaring food and electricity prices, but the city did not want to increase the burden on its taxpayers.

Fee increases of 10 to 15 percent for day camp registration and certain Summit Center services were to offset costs related to COVID-19, Aker said, as additional security to control the NLVaxPass.

The only other budget increases were for residential permits for minor renovations or general repairs ($ 25 to $ 30) and uncovered garbage cleaning fees ($ 45 to $ 50.)

Aker said these fee increases are expected to add an additional $ 500,000 to the city’s coffers.

“From a fair standpoint, we want to make sure that [taxpayers using our facilities] pay a reasonable amount, ”he said.

Aker said the response to the city’s 2022 budget has been “positive”.

“The most important message is that we are lowering taxes this year and everyone is grateful for that.”

Growing city, declining turnover

Andrea Gosse, deputy mayor of CBS, said tabling a balanced budget after a $ 1.5 million drop in property values ​​in 2020 required some cost reduction.

“We didn’t want to increase the thousandth rate,” she said. “We really wanted to keep this for residents and businesses. “

Instead, the city increased water charges by $ 25 per household – a cost Gosse called “fair.”

“As we grow there are more and more water utilities so that there is more of this city to meet,” she said. “It’s not just about buying water, it’s about maintaining it and maintaining it and that sort of thing.”

Gosse said water costs have increased by nearly $ 700,000 over the past five years.

“So when we looked at that, we decided that an increase of $ 25 per household was what we had to accept. But everything else stayed the same,” she said. “So we thought it was fair and equitable.”

Gosse cited a $ 13 million investment in water, sewer and road works as features of the budget, while spending on calming traffic and clearing sidewalks indicates the city takes community safety seriously.

Plans are also in place to build a community center, which residents have wanted for years.

Gosse said $ 120,000 is also earmarked for economic development.

“We are investing in this because if we can develop our business side, we can take some of the pressure off the residents,” she said.

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