Tax rates up in St. Mary’s

By Lois Ann Dort    

SHERBROOKE – The Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s passed the 2017 – 2018 budget at a special council meeting on Monday, April 10 raising taxes three cents across the board for residential, resource and commercial properties. The commercial tax rate now stands at $2.23 per $100 of assessment, while residential and resource tax rates are now .92 cents per $100 of assessment.

CAO Marvin MacDonald told The Journal on Tuesday that tax rates have risen to reduce dependance on reserve funds. “We’ve been using reserve funds for the last six years so we are trying to eliminate the need to use the reserve funds...The overall budget only increased .65 per cent from last year.” The operating budget for the 2017- 2018 fiscal year is $3,132,167.

Just over half of budget expenditures focus on three areas; protective services (policing and fire), solid waste and education.

Capital projects include an expenditure of $150,000 from capital reserves, 25 per cent of total cost, on waterline replacement in Sherbrooke. This project is also funded through provincial and federal monies as part of the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund.

This year’s budget also includes an increase for economic development. “It is our objective to generate economic activity in the municipality and we will be spending more money on those types of initiatives...We are always interested in potential businesses that could locate here, existing businesses and expansion opportunities,” said MacDonald.

Other plans include a reinstatement of the Active Living Coordinator position. Recruitment advertising for the position will begin in a matter of weeks.