Taxes going up

Darrell Cole
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Amherst introduces $15.6-million budget

AMHERST - It's going to cost more to own property in Amherst after the town raised both residential and commercial tax rates to fund its strategic priorities and support the Cumberland YMCA.

Residential tax rates will rise by two cents to $1.67 per $100 of assessment while commercial taxes, impacted by the continued phase out of the business occupancy tax, are going up 23 cents to $4.31 per $100 assessment.

"There is no doubt that the cheque that our taxpayers will write is increasing. The fact of the matter is that our costs are increasing and we must cover those costs to continue to provide the municipal services that our taxpayers have come to expect," Mayor Robert Small said in delivering the town's $15.6-million operational budget.

For the owner of a home assessed at $100,000 with average water consumption will see an increase of $111.38 in their tax bill, or five per cent.

The town also introduced at $13.5-million capital budget that includes construction of the new sewage treatment plant and the paving of several streets, including East Pleasant from Christie Street to Central Avenue.

The mayor said the town is moving forward with its strategic priorities and is projecting to spend $325,000 on those issues this year. Roughly half of that, or $150,000, is being funded by an increase in the deed transfer tax from .5 to 1.25 per cent. It is also dedicating one cent on the tax rate while taking $91,156 from reserves and $40,000 from other sources.

The other cent is dedicated for the community pool reserve announced earlier this year to support the Cumberland YMCA.

"All of this very positive activity does come with a price tag," he said.

Town CAO Greg Herrett said there were a number of factors in setting the budget. While residential assessment grew by 10 per cent, the assessment cap program restricted the use of that increase for taxation with almost 75 per cent of residential properties capped. Even with the cap, and the loss of $517,674 in potential tax revenue, assessment still grew by 5.1 per cent.

Overall, Herrett told council that expenditures are projected to rise by 8.5 per cent with wages up $160,000, or 3.2 per cent, and administrative costs up 1.9 per cent, or $15,000. Building and facility costs are up as are vehicle and equipment costs and materials and supplies.

As well, additional debt service costs related to the Amherst Stadium and South Albion Street projects are up about 4.6 per cent.

Other budget highlights include a $10 increase in the solid waste uniform charge to $165 to be put into reserves for the eventual replacement of green bins while sewer rates are going up five per cent to 75 cents per cubic metre for residential properties and 37 cents per cubic metre for commercial properties.

The uniform charge for the sewage treatment plant is increasing from $23 to $28 per property.

To help ease the blow on the low income property owners, the town increasing the low income tax reduction from $200 to $225 for those with household incomes below $15,672.

Geographic location: Amherst Stadium, Christie Street, Central Avenue South Albion Street

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Recent comments

  • Bob
    January 18, 2010 - 11:20

    I blame the construction of the new sewage plant and the paving of streets as the real culprit in this tax increase. I hope all the fancy pants out there enjoy their clean dodo free water. And the rich up enjoy driving their fancy cars on the paved streets.

    As for the Y, I feel for you know it all. I'll be thinking of you as I do some laps in the water.

  • lb
    January 18, 2010 - 11:19

    as far as a sewage treatment plant goes it should be mandatory for every town one would think ... and a gov priority at that ... idd be willing to pay my part to have it ...JMO BOB .... we all know by now which end of the horse ur trin to feed ....

  • Bob
    January 18, 2010 - 11:16

    Troy I was being sarcastic to mr. know it alls' comment. and i really think money spent on roads is a good thing and stopping the never ending saga of dodo in the water a good thing.

  • Janet
    January 18, 2010 - 10:44

    It's wonderful to hear from the hate mongers in our wonderful community! Could you PL-EASE do your math before you spew off at the mouth about the tax increases?!? that might be helpful .

    Ohhh, and pop in to the counter and fill out a membership form -Know It All- and they'll be happy to explain how the process works.
    It's hostility like yours that can contribute to unpleasant health issues. Remember that high blood pressure is a silent killer! however, regular cardio can help with that... :o)

  • Troy
    January 18, 2010 - 10:43

    Hey BOB !!! I can tell you one thing. If taxes are going up they are going up for all,,rich middle class,and poor. And If the rich have fancy cars ,,chances are they worked hard for the money they have to Buy the Nice Fancy car!! So don't be-little people with $$ because your bnutt is swimming at the Y and has to pay a few extra bucks a year in taxes. Get used to it ,,they will continue to rise forever,,Death and taxes ,,,Ya know the saying,,But Now that I really get to read more and more of your comments,,Mine are nothing in comparrison,,You are definatly one of Amherst Greatest joys,.,,and For Know It all,,,,If the $130 bucks a year makes that much of an issue in your life,,there is always oxford,,You could move there ,,I hear they give you a housing tax break and thousand off your home if you agreee to buy there. I think Amherst is a great little town,,and For an extra $10 bucks a month in taxes is not that bad of a trade off to live in that nice little town with ALL the amemities. It could be worse,,You could live in Minutey and have all the tax increases.

  • Wary Tax Payer
    January 18, 2010 - 10:42

    EVERYONE who owns property in this province had better be paying attention to their assessments and the smoke-and-mirrors 'assessment cap program' alluded to in this article. If yours is like mine, there is an ever-widening gap between market and capped value. What will happen when the politicians decide to change the value of the cap or do away with it altogether? Your taxes will go through the roof, that's what!

  • uncle bobby
    January 18, 2010 - 10:35

    any job, whether it be a mayor, a prime minister, or a president in any democratic country, is a job from hell. Please pray for these people.

  • Bob
    January 18, 2010 - 10:34

    you do? how'd you find out? did you spider search my name yet as you, lb, has threatened in the past?

    well i think we all know (notice I spelled it properly) which end of the horse you are (notice I spelled it properly) trying (notice that is spelt correctly) to feed...IMO as always forever cross my heart.