Saturday, June 22, 2024

No new taxes in MODG

2024-2025 budget boasts new investments, diversified revenues

  • March 27 2024
  • By Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter     

GUYSBOROUGH — With robust spending on community initiatives and major projects, and no new taxes, the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) delivered what Warden Vernon Pitts described last week as a “good news budget” for 2024-2025.

“With all the great projects that council is able to approve this year and, with the continued high level of economic development, interest and activity within the municipality, the fiscal year should prove to be very interesting and productive,” he told councillors while presenting the annual estimates at the regular monthly meeting on Mar. 20.

His colleagues seemed to agree, spending less than 15 minutes approving budget measures stretching from major capital works to street lighting levies and sewer rates.

Revenues and expenditures in MODG will be $17,120,267 for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2025.

Along with $4,899,678 in property taxes, revenue will be generated from area rates, business assessments, government grants in lieu of taxes, services provided to other levels of government, sale of services and other sources; unconditional and conditional federal, provincial and other local government transfers.

Tax rates, unchanged from the year before, will be 0.77 per $100 of assessment on residential/resource property and $2.74 per $100 of assessment on commercial property. To “defray expenditures for additional local services,” in District 8 (Canso), the residential/resource property tax rate will be $1.514 per $100 of assessment and the commercial property tax rate will be $1.347 per $100 of assessment.

“Our strong investment decisions and diversification of our revenue streams continue be able to subsidize the tax rate,” Pitts said.

He added: “I’m pleased to report to council with continued pride the low-income tax exemption in the amount of $200. And we have increased the low-income threshold from $35,000 to $40,000 to reach more income in family households.”

Council also approved $71,460.77 in full or partial tax exemptions for 26 community groups, societies and development associations; $45,000 in grants and bursaries to schools, the Stan Rogers Folk Festival, Guysborough Options for Adaptive Living and St. Martha’s Regional Hospital; $6,826,455 in capital and special initiatives; and earmarked $3,173,559 from MODG’s operating and capital reserve funds to cover specific projects, such as Guysborough waterfront improvements and Canso community enhancements and fitness centre.

Said Pitts: “Overall, the municipality is still in a sound fiscal position ... For the past number of years council’s senior staff has participated in the annual strategic planning exercise. It is evident, year over year, how valuable this exercise is, and how consistent planning has paid off for our municipality. I think we are basically touching every district of the municipality, north, south, east and west. I think it’s a good news budget.”

For more on capital investments of the new budget see story on page 3 of this week's edition.