Three Rivers area in eastern P.E.I. would earn double gas tax revenues

Steve Sharratt
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Screenshot of the report commissioned to look at amalgamation in eastern P.E.I. Brudenell, Cardigan, Georgetown, Lorne Valley, Lower Montague, Montague and Valleyfield commissioned the report.

MONTAGUE - If the force awakens between seven southeastern communities considering the formation of a regional municipality it won’t suffer from lack of funds.

According to the recently released Woods study, the increased population will help bolster the war chest for the new community referred to as Three Rivers.

Currently, the town of Montague has a population of about 1,900 people.

With the additional six communities of Georgetown, Cardigan, Lorne Valley, Valleyfield, Brudenell and Lower Montague, the population would jump to 8,000 – or 75 per cent of the new community.

“It should be quite clear that rural interests and rural values should be well entrenched and well protected in any future regional municipality,” states the report.

RELATED: Report on eastern P.E.I. amalgamation released

But joining forces would also see the federal gas tax allotment almost double for the new and much larger municipality.

“The impact of the increased population is clearly evident,” the report details in a chart. “Essentially, the total annual Gas Tax Grant for the Region would be more than doubled, from $320,633 to $654,059.”

CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW MUCH THE MUNICIPALITIES GET IN GAS TAX REVENUES

And as part of the federal New Deal funding, there has traditionally been a “Capacity Building” fund that provided up to 100 per cent funding for preparation of a new official Plan.

The report notes that the expected budget for a full regional land use plan for Three Rivers would probably be in excess of $100,000 and if approved, would be cost covered by the feds.

The report also notes what Judge Ralph Thomson wrote in his Commission on Land and Local Governance released in 2009.

“The Three Rivers Area faces significant challenges that will be exacerbated by an aging population, a declining rural population and other factors.”

Organizations: Three Rivers, Local Governance

Geographic location: Eastern P.E.I., MONTAGUE, Georgetown Lorne Valley Valleyfield

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Recent comments

  • Jack Spratt
    January 05, 2016 - 09:37

    Can anyone please explain why people outside the towns and villages won't have to pay the same taxes as the people inside the towns and villages. It's nice if you can get it live outside the towns use their facilities free

    • Jack - I beg To Differ
      January 06, 2016 - 18:33

      Just WHAT facilities are you referring to ????? We pay a fee for the protection from fire department . The hospital is provided by my provincial government , not the town of Montague . The wellness center was built by all the surrounding arrears , not Montague itself . The grocery stores are provided by the companies that own them , not Montague The main drive streets are built & maintained by provincial government. Back to my first comment . Just what is the town of Montague providing that I am not already paying for ???????????????????????????????? Please advise :

  • Ron Kelly
    January 04, 2016 - 18:58

    I'm a bit confused. I believe the main contention of this article is that revenues will be doubled. But doubled compared to what? To what these communities are receiving now? If that's the case, why would they receive double the amount of their current revenues? I don't see anything in this article to explain why or how that would occur. More elaboration or explanation would be helpful.

    • confused as well
      January 05, 2016 - 11:01

      Incorporated municipalities have received a ''subsidy'' from the federal government in the form of returning a portion of the federal excise tax we pay for gasoline. This started back in the Chretien era in the 1990s I think. Each province gets a set amount and it's divided up based on population. One of the biggest recipients is actually the provincial government's Minister of Municipalities because they get to keep the portion of gas tax rebate for all the unincorporated areas and it just goes into the ''slushy'' general revenue account. What confuses me is that this proposed amalgamation is of existing municipalities such as Lower Montague, Valleyfield, Brudenell, Lorne Valley, Cardigan, Georgetown, and Montague. All of these places would already be receiving gas tax rebates. I can't think of any unicorporated areas within the proposed amalgamation boundary, so how they are arriving at this figure of double the gas tax revenue is beyond me. Perhaps they are talking double the property tax revenue? If so, then that means all existing property tax rates are out the window.

  • DON'T BELIEVE IT
    January 04, 2016 - 11:45

    Don't believe a word of it. The only reason for amalgamation is to get higher taxes. Ask anyone living in the area surrounding Summerside what they received from amalgamating with Summerside? HIGHER TAXES. Now they are pushing for areas like Miscouche to get that area into the higher taxes. They will keep cutting back on the monies to smaller communities until they have to concede. The tens of millions wasted yearly is not enough. They want more and more. Greed is a terrible thing.

  • rural resident
    January 04, 2016 - 10:39

    I live in Victoria Cross. How will the services for my property change and how much will my taxes increase? My wages haven't increased so I can't afford to pay any different than what I am already paying. This is fundamentally unfair to those of us who choose where to live based on the established tax rate when we bought our properties. I intentionally avoided the horribly mis-managed and over taxed and declining economic fortunes of Montague as well as Georgetown. Yet now I have to shoulder the burden of paying for Montague's decades and centuries of poor choices? Just let Montague wither and die. They can dissolve and apply through IRAC to merge into Valleyfield instead. That's my 2 cents. Scott MacKenzie at IRAC will be receiving my opposition to this pronto.

  • And Just Who
    January 04, 2016 - 09:44

    And just who will this benefit ??? Certainly not the rural surrounding areas . The only thing we will get is higher taxes with nothing in exchange for them . Sure Montague & Georgetown will benefit and be able to pay Mayor & council more money along with giving them more to waste since a lot of them don't own property & taxes doesn't effect them . We on the other hand will just have our pockets picked deeper by another bunch of want to be power brokers . Yes it would be nice to receive double the money for some ! but when are people going to realize that this money regardless of which part of government is giving it away is our money and not free . As you can tell , I am fully against amalgamation as I have already lived in Montague & seen first hand how the town is run . Been there - done that - and don't want any part of it now . The provincial government is doing enough tax grabbing now , we don't need another layer of government hopping on the band wagon as well .

  • caringgal
    January 04, 2016 - 08:25

    This would be a plus for the Eastern end.Hopefully most residents will see the value in amalgamating.There are too many small Councils,when one would suffice.Probably the capitol would be Georgetown,and Council made up of members from each municipality,with a Mayor decided from the Councillors.Good luck !!!