Mount Pearl residents to get small mill rate break

Deana Stokes Sullivan
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Municipal

Mount Pearl residents will get a 3/4-mill property tax rate reduction in 2010 to offset an estimated 16 per cent increase in property values.

Coun. Paul Lane, the city's chairman of corporate services, released the budget at a council meeting Tuesday.

The residential property tax rate next year will be 9.25 mills.

Council decided to maintain its commercial property tax rate at 12.5 mills, while providing a 1/4-mill reduction in the general commercial business occupancy rate, from 17 mills to 16.75 mills.

The city of Mount Pearl presented its budget at the regular council meeting Tuesday evening. Despite a reduced mill rate, residents can expect to pay more property taxes due to increased property values and both residents and businesses will see increased

Mount Pearl residents will get a 3/4-mill property tax rate reduction in 2010 to offset an estimated 16 per cent increase in property values.

Coun. Paul Lane, the city's chairman of corporate services, released the budget at a council meeting Tuesday.

The residential property tax rate next year will be 9.25 mills.

Council decided to maintain its commercial property tax rate at 12.5 mills, while providing a 1/4-mill reduction in the general commercial business occupancy rate, from 17 mills to 16.75 mills.

Daycares and personal care homes are exempt from business taxes and a 20 per cent property tax discount is offered to Mount Pearl seniors, with the low income cutoff being raised next year to $30,000 from $20,000.

Water and sewer rates will increase for residents and businesses.

The current rate of $450 per dwelling will increase to $500 a year. There will still be no charge for commercial water consumption from zero to 100,000 gallons. However, the rate for 100,000 to 20 million gallons will increase to $5 per thousand from $4.50 and the rate for more than 20 million gallons will increase to $4.50 per thousand from $4.

Lane said a significant portion of the city's regional costs relate to the price of water it purchases from the Bay Bulls Big Pond regional water authority and the price of treating wastewater at the new wastewater treatment facility in St. John's, which will become operational in 2010.

"These purchases, at approximately $2 million per year, represent only part of the cost of providing quality drinking water to our residents and disposing of our sewer and wastewater in an environmentally responsible manner," Lane said.

Commenting on Mount Pearl's refusal to share the cost of maintaining the new Team Gushue Highway with St. John's, Lane said, "We are proud to co-operate in regional servicing, and while we are not interested in contributing to projects which fall under the jurisdiction of other levels of government, such as provincial highways, we do believe in paying our fair share for legitimate regional municipal services."

St. John's Mayor Dennis O'Keefe publicly criticized Mount Pearl for not agreeing to share in the cost of maintaining the road.

Lane said 21 per cent of Mount Pearl's annual budget goes toward regional services, such as fire protection, water, wastewater treatment, waste disposal and Mount Pearl's contract with St. John's Metrobus for public transit.

"The cost of these five services alone has more than doubled in just 10 years," Lane said. "In 1999, these costs totalled $3.4 million; in 2010 these costs will amount to $7.2 million."

As an example of "the alarming rate" at which these costs can climb, Lane said tipping fees at Robin Hood Bay have doubled in recent years to $51 a tonne, plus a new charge to Mount Pearl next year of $132,000 for residential drop-off and hazardous waste service, bringing Mount Pearl's landfill costs to $529,000 in 2010, up 43 per cent from 2009.

O'Keefe and St. John's Coun. Tom Hann also lashed out recently at Mount Pearl Mayor Randy Simms for commenting on his open line show that Metrobus is a "sinkhole" for money.

Lane addressed Metrobus in his budget speech, saying the 2010 cost for Metrobus services will total $1,027,500, with passenger fares contributing only $302,500 or 29.4 per cent.

He said since 2000, Mount Pearl's Metrobus subsidy has increased by 32.6 per cent, while ridership revenue has increased only 8.3 per cent.

Lane said this requires further consideration, and in 2010, the city will undertake a more extensive study on how the transportation needs of Mount Pearl residents, businesses and employees can best be met at a reasonable cost.

Russ Durant, president of the Mount Pearl Chamber of Commerce, said he's pleased with the city's budget and although tax decreases are not as substantial as the chamber would have liked, it recognizes the need for the city to remain competitive in the region.

Chamber vice-president Bruce Mullett said he's also pleased the city has committed to undertaking a study on the city's transportation needs.

dss@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Mount Pearl Chamber of Commerce

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, St. John's, Robin Hood Bay

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Telling it like it is
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    To TaxPayerII,

    I don't know where to begin on your rant.

    You belong on the Fox News channel as your just as diluted as Bill O'Reilly, Anne Coulter and Glenn Beck.

    First off, the international airport is used by the majority of Newfoundland air travellers....so if you want to throw Mount Pearl under the bus, then throw every other community under there as well.

    metrobus...okay, I have lived in Mount pearl for nearly 30 years, I have never once taken the bus and know only 1 person who actually does. The metrobus is the worst public (again PUBLIC) transit service I have ever seen. The very fact it takes between 1-2 hours to go from Mount pearl to MUN is outrageous.

    As for water and sewer, your capitalistic views on economics are laughable at best.

    Finally....as for Robin Hood bay, from now on, I suggest Mount Pearl residents dump their garbage on TaxPayerII front lawn.

    Have a nice day :)

    Let's not forget...st. John's residents just love to state how Mount Pearl residents drive into town, work then go home. I guess the fact they go to St. John's restaurants at lunch time, shop at the Avalon Mall and Stavanger drive, pumping their hard earned money into the St. John's economy is not appreciated.

    From now on, whenever I can, I'll do my shopping online and eat at Mount Pearl restaurants and diners.

  • gunther
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Taxpayer ll from NL writes: ...I can't understand why...


    There's a lot of things you don't understand.

  • arnold
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Taxpayer II = Nasty Nate so don't be surprised at the stupid comments he makes. Notice the style, grammar and spelling as well as how quick the comment goes up ? He sits in front of his computer all day long... just waiting...

  • Max
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Hey TS,

    It is true people from Mt.Pearl and all the other freeloading baymen from outports such as kilbride, goulds, southern shore, torbay, cbs and paradise drive on your roads but we also shop in your stores, dine in your restaurants and work in our capital city-trust me if any surrounding communities had the opportunities St. Johns has to house hospitals, universities, airports, federal and provincial government buildings they would not complain about people driving on their roads. These freeloading baymen who use your infrastructure on a daily basis are also pumping $$$ into the capital city on daily basis as well. If the province decided to move all their civil servants to these communities and out of st. johns I would suspect all these free loading baymen town councils would be licking their chops at that chance.

    As for the baymen not contributing to the team gushue highway again this is not the baymens fault. The freeloading baymens town councils realize that this highway is a provincial highway and as a result refuse to pay to maintain it. dont see gander or corner brook plows clearing the tch now do you? If you got a beef with that you should take it up with your own city council and not the freeloading baymens town councils. I guess all those freeloading baymen are not as stunned as they look after all..

  • T
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    to Max Power:
    touche....St. John's definitely benefits from the business of other towns.
    but why do you keep using the term freeloading baymen in your paragraph(s)? are you somehow implying that thats what I said? because if you knew me, and knew the fact that I am not originally from St. Johns, you would know that the last thing I would do would be call people in places outside of st.john's a freeloading bayman . Besides, how exactly does Mount Pearl people qualify as baymen? theres no bay! j/k.

    you had quite a rant there, but I was just commenting on one particular issue....the roadways. My point is that half of the reason why St. John's roads are in such bad shape is because of the volume of traffic on them. It seems that everyone is quick to jump on the bandwagon of bashing st. john's roads, but nobody wants to assist in maintaining roads that are CLEARLY going to be used by residents of many other towns. Wouldn't it make life easier for everyone to have the gushue highway (not JUST st. john's residents?)? it never would have happened at all if St. John's hadn't stepped up to say that they would take care of the maintenance. it just seems fair that all surrounding towns should play their part.

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    I can't understand why Mt. Pearl and Paradise don't pay the same as St. John's for water and sewer. If anything they should be paying more(same sevice spread over fewer households). Mt. Pearl uses the St. John's fire department, St. John's hospitals,St. John's metrobus, St. John's landfill, St.Johns airport, St. John's water and sewer, yet they they pay less for this then the people of St. John's. There is something wrong here. Mt. Pearl is in reality a part of St. John's in everyway, except when it comes to paying their fair share...nice work Mt. Pearl.

  • J
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Ummm, there is no Airport in St. John's, it's in Torbay.
    The Metrobus is contracted out, not something the City of St. John's PROVIDES to Mt. Pearl.
    The St. John's Hospitals are PROVINCIAL hospitals.
    Mt. pearl has it's own fire department.
    Mt. pearl using St. John's water and sewer? How about the fact that the City of St. John's uses water from Bay Bulls and Portugal cove.

    I think the Taxpayer II needs to go back to school, perhaps in a Mt. pearl school? :)

  • Keith
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    We are not part of St John's. Our services are excellent and treated fair here. Unlike TOWN, we have clear streets in the winter without our mayor crying on the radio about the overbudget of snowclearing. Doc O'keefe should get tips from our council and then just maybe the steets in TOWN might get done properly a couple of days after a storm. Heaven forbid the steets be like ours during a snowstorm. But then again we have proper snow removal equipment. How can a truck travelling 60 kms an hour plow a street. The blade bounces too much over the bumps and ruts in the road to get the snow completely of the road plus the load of salt rusts out the dump before it is all used. Doc says Don't use that salt becuase we need to save money.Safety don't matter .

  • T
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Hi Taxpayer:
    While I agree with the general gist of your statement, I thought I would just point out that St. John's municipal taxes do not pay for the hospitals or the airport..... figured I would get that out there before somebody jumps all over you for it and totally misses the point you were trying to make :)
    Not to mention the fact, by the way, that most of the residents of Mount Pearl are driving to their jobs in St. John's, where they are using our roadways. I still can't get over the fact that they aren't going to pay for maintenance of the Gushue highway. give me a break!

  • WTF
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Here we go again. An unemployed knobb makes a ridiculous comment and people give him the attention he so desperately needs.

  • Telling it like it is
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    To TaxPayerII,

    I don't know where to begin on your rant.

    You belong on the Fox News channel as your just as diluted as Bill O'Reilly, Anne Coulter and Glenn Beck.

    First off, the international airport is used by the majority of Newfoundland air travellers....so if you want to throw Mount Pearl under the bus, then throw every other community under there as well.

    metrobus...okay, I have lived in Mount pearl for nearly 30 years, I have never once taken the bus and know only 1 person who actually does. The metrobus is the worst public (again PUBLIC) transit service I have ever seen. The very fact it takes between 1-2 hours to go from Mount pearl to MUN is outrageous.

    As for water and sewer, your capitalistic views on economics are laughable at best.

    Finally....as for Robin Hood bay, from now on, I suggest Mount Pearl residents dump their garbage on TaxPayerII front lawn.

    Have a nice day :)

    Let's not forget...st. John's residents just love to state how Mount Pearl residents drive into town, work then go home. I guess the fact they go to St. John's restaurants at lunch time, shop at the Avalon Mall and Stavanger drive, pumping their hard earned money into the St. John's economy is not appreciated.

    From now on, whenever I can, I'll do my shopping online and eat at Mount Pearl restaurants and diners.

  • gunther
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Taxpayer ll from NL writes: ...I can't understand why...


    There's a lot of things you don't understand.

  • arnold
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Taxpayer II = Nasty Nate so don't be surprised at the stupid comments he makes. Notice the style, grammar and spelling as well as how quick the comment goes up ? He sits in front of his computer all day long... just waiting...

  • Max
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Hey TS,

    It is true people from Mt.Pearl and all the other freeloading baymen from outports such as kilbride, goulds, southern shore, torbay, cbs and paradise drive on your roads but we also shop in your stores, dine in your restaurants and work in our capital city-trust me if any surrounding communities had the opportunities St. Johns has to house hospitals, universities, airports, federal and provincial government buildings they would not complain about people driving on their roads. These freeloading baymen who use your infrastructure on a daily basis are also pumping $$$ into the capital city on daily basis as well. If the province decided to move all their civil servants to these communities and out of st. johns I would suspect all these free loading baymen town councils would be licking their chops at that chance.

    As for the baymen not contributing to the team gushue highway again this is not the baymens fault. The freeloading baymens town councils realize that this highway is a provincial highway and as a result refuse to pay to maintain it. dont see gander or corner brook plows clearing the tch now do you? If you got a beef with that you should take it up with your own city council and not the freeloading baymens town councils. I guess all those freeloading baymen are not as stunned as they look after all..

  • T
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    to Max Power:
    touche....St. John's definitely benefits from the business of other towns.
    but why do you keep using the term freeloading baymen in your paragraph(s)? are you somehow implying that thats what I said? because if you knew me, and knew the fact that I am not originally from St. Johns, you would know that the last thing I would do would be call people in places outside of st.john's a freeloading bayman . Besides, how exactly does Mount Pearl people qualify as baymen? theres no bay! j/k.

    you had quite a rant there, but I was just commenting on one particular issue....the roadways. My point is that half of the reason why St. John's roads are in such bad shape is because of the volume of traffic on them. It seems that everyone is quick to jump on the bandwagon of bashing st. john's roads, but nobody wants to assist in maintaining roads that are CLEARLY going to be used by residents of many other towns. Wouldn't it make life easier for everyone to have the gushue highway (not JUST st. john's residents?)? it never would have happened at all if St. John's hadn't stepped up to say that they would take care of the maintenance. it just seems fair that all surrounding towns should play their part.

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    I can't understand why Mt. Pearl and Paradise don't pay the same as St. John's for water and sewer. If anything they should be paying more(same sevice spread over fewer households). Mt. Pearl uses the St. John's fire department, St. John's hospitals,St. John's metrobus, St. John's landfill, St.Johns airport, St. John's water and sewer, yet they they pay less for this then the people of St. John's. There is something wrong here. Mt. Pearl is in reality a part of St. John's in everyway, except when it comes to paying their fair share...nice work Mt. Pearl.

  • J
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    Ummm, there is no Airport in St. John's, it's in Torbay.
    The Metrobus is contracted out, not something the City of St. John's PROVIDES to Mt. Pearl.
    The St. John's Hospitals are PROVINCIAL hospitals.
    Mt. pearl has it's own fire department.
    Mt. pearl using St. John's water and sewer? How about the fact that the City of St. John's uses water from Bay Bulls and Portugal cove.

    I think the Taxpayer II needs to go back to school, perhaps in a Mt. pearl school? :)

  • Keith
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    We are not part of St John's. Our services are excellent and treated fair here. Unlike TOWN, we have clear streets in the winter without our mayor crying on the radio about the overbudget of snowclearing. Doc O'keefe should get tips from our council and then just maybe the steets in TOWN might get done properly a couple of days after a storm. Heaven forbid the steets be like ours during a snowstorm. But then again we have proper snow removal equipment. How can a truck travelling 60 kms an hour plow a street. The blade bounces too much over the bumps and ruts in the road to get the snow completely of the road plus the load of salt rusts out the dump before it is all used. Doc says Don't use that salt becuase we need to save money.Safety don't matter .

  • T
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Hi Taxpayer:
    While I agree with the general gist of your statement, I thought I would just point out that St. John's municipal taxes do not pay for the hospitals or the airport..... figured I would get that out there before somebody jumps all over you for it and totally misses the point you were trying to make :)
    Not to mention the fact, by the way, that most of the residents of Mount Pearl are driving to their jobs in St. John's, where they are using our roadways. I still can't get over the fact that they aren't going to pay for maintenance of the Gushue highway. give me a break!

  • WTF
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Here we go again. An unemployed knobb makes a ridiculous comment and people give him the attention he so desperately needs.