CORNWALL — A 2013 budget will see tax rates hold steady for most residents in the town while doubling for off-Island property owners.
The budget, which passed 4-1 at town hall Wednesday night, also saw hikes in the commercial and multi-unit property tax rates.
The Water and Sewer Utility Corporation budget, also passed on Wednesday, saw no rate increases.
Off-Island property owners will now go from paying 46 cents to 92 cents per $100 of assessed value. Multi-unit rates have increased from 46 cents to 66 cents.
The commercial rate was increased from 86 cents to 96 cents.
Finance chair Minerva McCourt said this year’s budget has been the most challenging for the town in a number of years.
“It is worth noting the difference between the 20 cent tax credit and the grant which replaced it in 2008 means a loss of about $115,000 to the town in 2013.” McCourt said while delivering the budget.
The budget outlines that council will proceed only on capital projects which are time sensitive in 2013.
The two major projects anticipated by council are the replacement of the Cornwall pool and a sewer line upgrade off the Trans-Canada highway.
“It is worth noting the difference between the 20 cent tax credit and the grant which replaced it in 2008 means a loss of about $115,000 to the town in 2013,” - Finance chair Minerva McCourt
McCourt said council intends to proceed with preliminary work towards the placement of a water booster station in Elliot Park.
With the actual installation not occurring until 2014, Coun. Marlene Hunt said she couldn’t support the budget. She also described it as lacking balance with no sidewalk construction yet heavy spending on the town’s recreation centres.
“I’d like to see a budget with a little bit of this and a little bit of that,” said Hunt. “I have misgivings.”
However, Coun. Peter Meggs said he felt the budget was balanced.
“Everybody had to take a hit if you look at the different divisions of the town,” Meggs said. “There wasn’t one particular area that suffered more than any other.”
Coun. Irene Dawson also gave her approval of the budget during the meeting.
“To be able to hold the line on residential taxes during a term of fiscal restraint I’m very pleased with what we brought forward.”
Coun. Parker Beer was absent from the budget meeting.