Tax hike necessary for services: Simms

Daniel
Daniel MacEachern
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Mount Pearl raised taxes for 2014 because of the loss of provincial funding and an increase in regional expenses, says Mayor Randy Simms.

Mount Pearl Mayor Randy Simms. — Telegram file photo

Simms, speaking Wednesday at the Mount Pearl-Paradise Chamber of Commerce’s annual mayor’s outlook luncheon, said raising the city’s residential mill rate from 6.7 to 7.4 mills represented the city attempting to take just what it needed for expenses — just as it did the year before when it lowered taxes from 9.2 mills.

“This year, we got hit with an extra $2 million that we need for regional services,” said Simms at the luncheon at Hotel Mount Pearl to about 80 people, including MPs Ryan Cleary and Jack Harris — and visiting Victoria MP Murray Rankin — MHAs Steve Kent and Paul Lane, and Paradise Mayor Dan Bobbett.

“It was three-quarters of a million dollars in provincial money that we lost. Yes, we picked up an additional $3 million in capital, but that meant we had to come up with a additional $1 million of our own if we were going to capture that

$3 million. I don’t know about you, but any time I put 30 cents on the table and the other guy gives me 70 to make the dollar, I’m going to do that every opportunity I get.”

Mount Pearl in 2014 is coming off its second-biggest year when it comes to spending on development, and will have its largest budget ever — $43.2 million — and raising taxes was necessary to continue to provide the services residents expect, said the mayor.

“There was only one other thing to do: cut services. In a city that’s committed to improving them? Not on your life,” said Simms.

dmaceachern@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelegramDaniel

Organizations: Mount Pearl-Paradise Chamber of Commerce

Geographic location: Mount Pearl

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  • Political Watcher
    January 23, 2014 - 16:27

    Tax hike to maintain services? When Randy talks about services I would like him to tell us how well we are being served by the two hugh "paper weights" currently parked at the depot in Donovans. The two machines that cost almost one million dollars to purchase that was supposed to melt snow. We are still paying private land owners to store snow on their properties . How come the cost for seven Councillors is almost at another one million dollars? Convenient in their budget notice how they call it "Governance". They City of St. John's is six times bigger and has six to seven time the infrastructure to maintain yet it only costs $100.00 more to service than Mount Pearl when you look at Mil Rates. In closing, does the City of Mount Pearl need a senior staffer earning close to $200,000.00./year. I think not. P.S. I am also hearing rumblings of a possible labour dispute this summer. Thank you for the great service Randy.....