Across-the-board tax hike passed

Property owners in all classes will see a small tax increase this year after town council passed the 2006 budget at its regular meeting Monday night.
As previously reported, taxes for residential ratepayers will go up 2.6 percent while commercial-occupied will jump by .85 percent, said Information Technology manager Darryl Allan, who gave a presentation at Monday night’s meeting breaking down various aspects of the budget.
Multi-residential will go up by 2.87 percent in 2006 while industrial and large industrial-occupied will increase 1.1 percent.
A one percent tax increase yields an additional $80,590 for the town.
The 2005 notional tax rate for residential properties (including education) is 0.0170251. This means a house assessed at $100,000 would be subject to property taxes of $1,702.51.
A 2.6 percent tax hike (including education at .0174686) on residential means a $26.60 increase to your tax bill if your house is assessed at $60,000, $44.35 at $100,000, and $66.53 at $150,000.
The 2006 budget is balanced at $20,763.834—$641,884 more than in 2005.
This total includes a budgeted debenture and loan payments of $744,452 for the general fund taxation and $228,385 from the water and sewer funds.
This also includes $5,000 in expenses to finalize the condominium project.
Based on 2005 assessment and tax rates, the condos are expected to generate $86,154 in property taxes this year.
The budget also includes a user fee schedule, which town council had approved last month. This saw an average increase of two percent.
And in February, council passed a bylaw night approving a two percent increase to water and sewer rates for all classes.
The 2006 budget was approved and passed as a bylaw by a vote of 6-1, with Coun. Roy Avis opposed to it.
In other news Monday night, council voted 4-3 against reconsidering a motion passed by council last March to have the Rainycrest board of management approve Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc.’s proposal to manage and operate the home.
The motion to reconsider was introduced by Mayor Dan Onichuk. Couns. Avis, Tannis Drysdale, Todd Hamilton, and Rick Wiedenhoeft voted against reconsidering it.
There was no further discussion at Monday’s meeting.
Also Monday night, council:
•appointed Alan Zucchiatti to the Fort Frances Library Board for a term ending Nov. 30, 2006 and John Rafferty to the Recreation Advisory Committee for a term ending Nov. 30, 2006;
•authorized the engagement of Brian Avis as project manager for the Heritage Tourism Project as per his proposal of March 20, 2006 (Coun. Avis declared a conflict of interest on this resolution);
•agreed to a recommendation of the Economic Development Advisory Committee that the Rainy River Future Development Corp. initiate a Community Investment Readiness Test for Fort Frances;
•accepted the 2006 Ministry of Environment inspection water system report; and
•agreed to a recommendation of the Administration and Finance executive committee to receive the minutes of settlement for 235 Scott St.