Springhill maintains tax rate with new budget

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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It wasnt without challenge but Springhill has managed to hold the line on residential taxes.

Springhill council released its 2007-08 budget late Wednesday, setting the residential tax rate at $2.12 per $100 taxable assessment. The commercial rate rose to from $4.75 per $100 to $5.18 to offset the phasing out of the business occupancy tax.

It wasnt without challenge but Springhill has managed to hold the line on residential taxes.

Springhill council released its 2007-08 budget late Wednesday, setting the residential tax rate at $2.12 per $100 taxable assessment. The commercial rate rose to from $4.75 per $100 to $5.18 to offset the phasing out of the business occupancy tax.

While the residential rate is remaining the same, a 14 per cent increase in property assessments means Springhillers will still be paying more in taxes.

It was a challenge to maintain the tax rate but we have been able to do that without having to cut programs or services, Mayor Guy Brown said Thursday. We were only able to accomplish this through working co-operatively as a council and involving the department heads in our budget discussions from the beginning.

Sewer rates in the community are going up to $150 from $147 annually while property owners will continue to be charged $24 to help pay for a new fire truck. This is the second payment in a three-year plan.

Springhill also announced a three-year $3.8-million capital budget that includes among other things the Main Street sewer extension.

The town is continuing to pay off its operating debt from 2005-06. The second and final payment of that $260,000 deficit is to be paid in this years budget. While the final numbers are not in, Springhill expects to finish the last fiscal year, that ended March 31, with a slight deficit.

While the town was able to maintain the tax rate this year without making any cuts, Brown said doing the same will be much more difficult next year considering assessments are going to be capped by the province.

Brown suggested the town may have to look outside its boundaries for help from the Municipality of Cumberland when it comes to funding water and sewer services as well as fire protection and recreation.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Springhill council

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