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Budget 2019: St. Anthony mill rates down, service fees up

St. Anthony, Summer 2018 - File photo
St. Anthony, Summer 2018 - File photo - Stephen Roberts

St. Anthony council lowers taxes, but adds garbage fee and raises stadium rates

ST. ANTHONY, N.L.

St. Anthony rate payers will see a decrease in the mill rate used to assess municipal taxes, but will start paying separately for garbage collection.

At its regular meeting Nov. 27, council passed its $2.9 million 2019 budget, lowering the mill rate from 6.00 to 5.25.

“We had hoped not to raise anybody’s taxes, not to create any undue stress considering the economic landscape right now etc., and we don’t know where electricity rates are going, so we didn’t want to put any undue hardship on people,” said Mayor Desmond McDonald.

That does not mean everyone will see a decrease in their taxes, however, as 2018 was an assessment year. There was an overall increase of four per cent and two per cent for residential properties.

“Some people will probably save a little bit this year, some assessments went up and some assessments went down, so it’s going to be different for different people,” McDonald said.

Taxpayers will see a new line item of $115.50 for households or $65.62 for apartments on their bill, however. Anticipating that the St. Anthony landfill site will eventually be closed and garbage will be shipped to a regional site at Norris Arm North, council decided it was time to let people see what they are paying.

“In the past, people didn’t really know what they were paying for waste,” McDonald explained. “So now, if there’s an increase in the future, or a decrease—I hope there’s decreases, but I don’t anticipate there will be—if there’s an increase in the future people will know that it’s not us that’s putting that increase on them. They’ll know where it’s coming from, just so that it’s more transparent to the taxpayer.”

The town is also increasing rates at the Polar Centre by approximately $20 per hour across the board. The new rate for prime time rentals is $120 with non-prime time, minor hockey and birthday party fees going up to $95.

“The rates have gone up at the stadium, but we haven’t raised the rates at our Olympiad since we were in our old Olympiad prior to 2012,” McDonald said. “At some point you’ve got to raise rates. Our costs have increased every year since we’ve been there, but we stood our ground on rates, at some point they had to go up.

“Unfortunately that rate is going to get handed down to kids and parents, users of the arena, but that’s just the world we’re living in right now. It’s got to be done.”

A public notice has been published outlining the details of taxes, fees and rental rates.

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