No Tax Increase for Residents; Rates and Fees to Remain the Same
Budget 2019 at a Glance
Tonight, the Town of Conception Bay South presented its 2019 budget of $37,810,254. In a dedicated and conscious effort to reduce the financial burden on its taxpayers, Council announced that residential and commercial mil rates, as well as all rates and fees, will remain status quo in 2019.
“Council has worked extremely hard to provide and enhance service delivery within the restraints of our own budget. Our primary objective for this budget was to ensure there were no increases in taxes to residents or businesses, and no increase in rates or fees, and we are very proud to say that we’ve accomplished that,” said Mayor Terry French.
Budget 2019 represents a decrease in spending of approximately $560,000 when compared to last year’s budget and is only the second time in the Town’s history that it has been able to reduce year over year expenditures. The reduction in spending is due to an aggressive, cost-saving initiative by Council.
Through Council’s aggressive cost review, the Town was able to absorb a $106,000 increase in regional water fees by the Regional Water Authority, without having to pass this cost burden on to its residents.
The Town also announced that it will conduct major infrastructure upgrades in the New Year, allocating $1 million for streets and sidewalk improvements and approximately $6 million in street paving, which is the continuation of the 2018-2019 street upgrading and paving program.
“We recognize that to accomplish our goal of being the community of choice and continuing to grow our population base, we must provide excellent civic services at a competitive tax rate. During our budget consultations, residents voiced their priorities loud and clear and we listened. Our people are rightly demanding improved infrastructure, especially with regards to our roads and sidewalks, and they want this without seeing a tax increase,” said Mayor French.
The Town’s budget focuses on going back to the basics, and enhances core services without increasing the cost burden to citizens. A major high-point for Budget 2019 was enhancements to the Town’s snow clearing budget. New funding will allow for approximately two to three additional operators working on the roads per shift.
“Additional operators mean a more efficient and effective winter control service. In other words, residents should see roads cleared and salted faster than in previous winters, and enhancements to sidewalk clearing as well. We are also making investments to enhance snow clearing on weekends and statutory holidays,” said Mayor French.
Highlights of the budget include:
• Residential property tax mil rate remains at 7.15;
• Commercial property tax mil rate remains at 11.5;
• No increase to the schedule of rates and fees;
• Successfully absorbed a $106,000 increase in regional water fees without passing the burden on to its taxpayers;
• Investment of $1 million in streets and sidewalk infrastructure upgrades and $6 million in street paving;
• Increased snow clearing budget to allow for approximately 2-3 additional operators working on the roads each shift to provide a more efficient and effective winter control service;
• Increased traffic calming budget to enhance the safety of Town roads;
• Based on the success of the implementation of automated waste collection, Phase 3 of the program will be accelerated such that all remaining residential properties will receive this service by late 2019;
• Community park development progression for the Long Pond area, which will include a finalized concept plan and Phase 1 completion in 2019;
• Investment of $3,880,324 into fire protection services;
• Continuation of the 12-month interest free monthly payment;
• Continuation of the Low Income Property Tax Reduction for low income families;
• Continuation of Senior Citizens Property Tax Reductions for senior citizens in receipt of the Guaranteed Income Supplement;
• Continuation of the Senior Citizens Property Tax Incentive;
• Moving forward with a strategic economic development agenda for 2019, to ensure the Town cements its legacy as the community of choice for families and individuals.
With a population of more than 26,000, Conception Bay South is the second largest municipality in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Town is focused on becoming the community of choice for families wanting to establish long-term roots as evidenced by continued population growth. Conception Bay South has also established an ‘open for business’ mindset and offers promising commercial, industrial and tourism investment opportunities.
To read the full budget document, including rates and fees click here.