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Tax rate increase of two cents for Cumberland County, four cents for Parrsboro

The budget was discussed by members of council and staff following the release of the 2019-2020 budget on May 15.
The budget was discussed by members of council and staff following the release of the 2019-2020 budget on May 15. - Dave Mathieson

Parrsboro sewer tax rate increased by 179.39 per cent

UPPER NAPPAN, N.S. – All residents of Cumberland County will see a tax increase of two cents on their residential and commercial tax rates on their 2019-2020 tax bills.

The increase was tabled with the release of the 2019-2020 budget during the May 15 meeting of county council.

The general tax rate for Cumberland County has gone up from $1.17 to $1.19 per $100 of assessment, and the residential tax rate has gone up from $2.76 to $2.78 per $100 of assessment.

On top of the general tax rate paid by all residents of Cumberland County, both Springhill and Parrsboro pay an additional area rate.

The area rate for Springhill remains the same as last year, with a residential rate of 86 cents per $100 of assessment, and a commercial rate of $2.18 per $100 of assessment.

The area rate for Parrsboro has increased. The residential rate has gone from 46 cents to 48 cents per $100 of assessment, and the commercial rate has gone from $1.17 to $1.19 per $100 of assessment.

Besides the tax rates being approved, council also approved an operations budget of $30.14 million, and a capital budget in the amount of 7.6 million.

Council also approved a five-year Capital Investment Plan in the amount of $16.4 million.

Sewer Rates

Parrsboro sewer rates increased $357,568. Last year they were $199,325, and this year they’re $556,893.

Springhill sewer rates decreased $6,969. Last year they were $500,267, and this year they’re $493,298.

Rural sewer rates increased $16,373. Last year they were $612,811, and this year they’re $629,184.

The unit rates for each of the sewage collection and treatment systems for the next fiscal year, ending March 31, 2020 are as follows:

$975 for Parrsboro

$265 for Springhill and Athol Road.

$559 for Joggins Extention.

$439 for Amherst Marsh, Biggs Drive, Joggins, Maccan, Pugwash, River Hebert, and Wallace.

Sewer rates for rural users increased to cover operations, and sewer rates for Parrsboro increased to cover operations and costs associated with the new sewer system.

Street Light Rates

Area Street light rates also went up for the most communities throughout Cumberland County.

Councilor Don Fletcher asked why they went up.

Andrew MacDonald, the director of finance, said it’s been a number of years since the street light rates were adjusted.

“We’re playing a little catch up this year on our street lights,” said MacDonald. “That (increase) does reflect the actual costs of where we are with the systems.”

He says once LED street lights are installed they will look at a county-wide rate instead of having a different rate for each community.

After council passed the budget, MacDonald told council that the tax bills will be in the mail by May 31, giving people until July 2, the day after the Canada Day holiday, to pay their tax bill.

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