Tantramar treasurer recommends multi-year tax increases for former LSDs

Treasurer Michael Beal presenting draft 2024 Tantramar budget

Tantramar Treasurer Michael Beal is recommending property tax increases for three former local service districts and slight reductions in the former town of Sackville and the village of Dorchester.

During a draft budget presentation to Tantramar council Wednesday, Beal said taxes need to rise for the next four years in the former LSDs around Sackville, Dorchester and Point de Bute to help pay for shared municipal services such as recreation, rinks, ball fields and tourism promotion.

“The former town of Sackville and village of Dorchester will continue to subsidize the local service districts until they are fully up to the tax rate,” Beal told council.

His recommendation for five cent increases per $100 of assessment is in line with provincial legislation designed to cushion the blow of rising property taxes after the forced amalgamation of the three former LSDs with Sackville and Dorchester.

It means, for example, that property taxes on residential homes in the areas around Westcock and Wood Point would rise next year from 92.4 cents per $100 of assessment to 97.4 cents.

The tax bill on a home assessed at $100,000 in the former Sackville LSD would be $974, an increase of $50 from last year’s bill of $924.

Homeowners in the former Dorchester LSD would pay just over $1.05 per $100 of assessment or $1,053 on a home assessed at $100,000, up from about $1,000 last year.

And in the former Point de Bute LSD, the tax bill on a home assessed at $100,000 would be $1,175 up from about $1,130 last year.

Meantime, the tax rate in the former town of Sackville would decrease slightly to just over $1.54 per $100 of assessment ($1.5412) while homeowners in the former village of Dorchester would also pay slightly less with a rate just over $1.54 ($1.5438).

Beal said taxpayers in the former town and village are paying higher rates than they would have if residents in the former LSDs were covering the full cost of shared municipal services.

He suggested that Tantramar continue with five cent increases every year until residential taxpayers in the former LSDs pay fully for their share of services.

Minor sports & skating

In the 2024 budget, Beal is proposing to reduce Civic Centre rink fees for minor sports groups and youth figure skating clubs from $155 per hour to $93 next year with further reductions in the following two years until the fees are eliminated.

“That would be a benefit for all of Tantramar,” he said.

“But the condition we would lay on that would be that the minor sports groups would have to provide the users savings in registration costs beginning in 2024,” he added.

“If they’re not prepared to reduce the registration costs, then they would not get the benefit of the reduced rates.”

For coverage of the 2023 Tantramar budget imposed by the province, click here.

To view the slides on the 2024 draft budget that Treasurer Beal presented to council, click here.

Note: Residential property owners in the former LSDs pay a special levy currently set at $0.4115 per $100 of assessment that the province collects to maintain roads. The municipality does not receive this money. So for example, if council accepts Beal’s recommendation for a five cent increase in the residential rate for the former Sackville LSD, the town will receive $0.9740 cents per $100 of assessment minus the provincial levy of $0.4115. Therefore, the municipal tax rate in the former Sackville LSD would be $0.5625 per $100 of assessment.

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2 Responses to Tantramar treasurer recommends multi-year tax increases for former LSDs

  1. Percy Best says:

    So, it would appear that Sackville LSD that has a current tax rate around 60% of the Sackville (Town) rate, will indeed over the next 8 years increase to a tax rate that is about 90% of the ‘Town’ rate. Hmmmmm, not good news at all for the Rockport Peninsula home owners.

    It is bad enough that they will now be under the watchful eye of those at Town Hall but this additional financial burden would seem to be a real kick in the teeth. Perhaps our Town Treasurer could supply the exact proposed mil rate tax numbers.

  2. Wayne Feindel says:

    ” The first Tantramar budget created by staff, and to be approved by council” , is a wonderful example of the absurdism of the amalgamation corporate digitalized data movement. Citizens of Tantramar this is not your budget. Myself and others have said many times that constitutionally New Brunswick municipalities are, “creatures of the province”.
    Canadian municipalities operate in a unique context. The province has exclusive authority, therefore you have no wiggle room for grappling with a changing financial landscape. A special meeting for this and another special meeting for that sounds like a disorganized, stressed amateur staff.
    Budgets are always difficult to manage and submit to council for approval. The council is faced with the absurdity that has gone on in New Brunswick for decades that that this process of amalgamation was to be a more inclusive local process. But instead It is part of a farce, a construct of sorts to make citizens “feel’ valued.” When You are Not!
    It’s obvious that a staff monitored budget is working at counter purpose to the projected savings that do not happen with amalgamation. Understanding finances is challenging because they are not transparent, which also happens to be an expectation of council “federal law”: Transparency to be number one purpose of a council report.. A summation presented by the budget officer is not a budget that will invite people to move to Tantramar.
    Where are the projections for including tax payers that were promised services for forty years..
    Who did a survey to see if some if any use your services ?
    What kind of surplus are you running?
    What is being done to down size all the employees and appointed commissions.(number 0ne snowballing expense for municipalities across
    Canada )
    What’s the threshold for accounting? $250, $2500. $5000.
    This is a know fact that in New Brunswick municipalities continue to receive the smallest share of the economic pie-for every household tax dollars paid by citizens to Fredericton, what does Tantramar get. 3 cents-5 cents?
    What did staff explore to address our dependency on revenue property types (over dependency) plus a whole slew of other details facing us. (Tent cities)

    SHOW US OUR MONEY- across Canada the trend is participating budgeting including council and citizens. Budgeting that goes beyond consulting and outsourcing. Participatory budgeting gives residents direct power to make decisions about what projects they will fund.
    What a “HOAX” you are supporting not properly representing citizens if you don’t vote a unanimous NO! Do not approve such an amateurish presentation for the 2024 budget that assumes you are ignoramuses.
    There is already a proven track record in Canada that with direct involvement corruption drops. Right now any civil engagement citizens have is nil and in reality that makes their you their preventatives non participants as well.
    This is the most important uninformed decision you are going to make as a council.
    You can be very successful at engaging residents to decide matters of local importance, by handing over power to the community.
    Just so you can’t say you didn’t know staff as {indemnity,} YOU DON’T.

    “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people(STAFF) who pay no price for being wrong”- Thomas Sowell

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