By Stephen Dafoe
Sturgeon County – County Council passed second and third reading of its 2012 tax rates with a 4-3 vote Tuesday, Councillors David Kluthe, Donald McGeachy and Mayor Don Rigney opposing the two motions.
Council had narrowly passed first reading of the tax bylaw Apr. 10, approving the first step of a split mil rate wherein residential properties would be taxed at a 6.85 per cent increase and non-residential properties at a 5.35 per cent increase. The split rate would lower the municipal tax increase from the 6.85 per cent identified in the 2012 budget to 5.93 per cent. First reading of the bylaw passed with a 4-3 vote of County Council. Mayor Don Rigney and Councillors David Kluthe and Don McGeachy voted in opposition to first reading as they did with second and third reading Apr. 24.
The 5.93 per cent tax increase allows the County to preserve pay as you go contributions to the County’s capital projects as well as making a small contribution towards funding the County’s 2 per cent rehabilitation/sustainability initiative, thus reducing reliance on debenture funding.
Council had decided last December on a 6.85 per cent increase to meet the County’s operational and capital needs. Although residential assessment is $6 million less than anticipated, linear assessment and non-residential assessment came in at a combined increase of $51 million higher than expected. The additional assessment would generate an additional $471,485 in tax revenue if Council had maintained its original 6.85 tax increase across the board.
The $232,000 a split mill rate is expected to generate above budgeted tax revenues is to be put into transportation reserves.
Our original story can be found here.