Council to decide tax rate today

Town council held a special meeting at noon Thursday to decide the 2001 tax rates, with a hike in residential taxes likely to be the outcome.
With Bill 140 legislating that commercial, industrial, and multi-residential taxes be lowered to a certain ratio, council was faced with lowering those with a minimal impact on the municipal budget or municipal tax rates.
“No one wants taxes going up period, in any category,” Coun. Dave Bourgeault noted Thursday morning. “I think it’s inevitable but we have to do it so it doesn’t have too big an impact.”
Council already had decided to try and decrease commercial taxes over the next few years but the process now has been accelerated by Bill 140–and could mean a substantial hike for residents or substantial cuts to town projects.
“We knew we had to move them but now they’re telling you you have to be in a certain range,” said Coun. Bourgeault.
“How do you do that overnight without having a massive increase?” he added. “I don’t know [the outcome] at this point, I wouldn’t speculate on it.
“We’ve already had a pre-discussion and it just doesn’t look good. If we were to do it by the complete suggestions of the province, it could mean a huge increase,” he warned.
A bylaw setting the 2001 tax rates must be passed today as the provincial deadline is Friday (June 1).