Budget time…

Budget time…

sunrise

So, awesome sunrises and sun sets are one of the many great things about the NS. There is, unfortunately, a balance in life. My week has been taken up with Budget discussions! 

Actually, it’s not all bad. More an education in the ways of local government and their taxing/spending powers.

So, I know, you’re waiting for me to tell you that taxes are going down. Well, have they ever gone down? Not in my memory. The only time that might happen is if the value of your property goes down. And that brings it’s own potential problems. So, yes taxes are going up, a bit.

In the last couple of years we’ve had a couple of big expenses. New fire equipment and a new waterfront park/launch. These are both things that the community said it wanted. How could we not want newer better fire equipment? Stuff gets old and needs replacing, for sure. As for the new boat launch at Bristow Road, Celista, well, the CSRD has been looking for a location for years. A good place for locals to be able to access the lake and launch boats. This property came up and it was snapped up. Some people will say it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money, others will rejoice. Either way it will benefit both locals and tourists, for ever more.

The thing about these purchases is that they’re expensive. And although they are planned for and money is put aside each year for these circumstances, it means that the reserves have been depleted. So we have to build up those reserves again, and put new purchases on hold for a bit. And it will still take a few years to build up the nest eggs, unless we want really big tax increases – I’m not in favour of that!

The other thing coming in to play this year is the provincial government MSP reduction plan. Your Medical Services Plan payments will be further reduced but larger operations like the CSRD are now paying the Employer Health Tax, which adds almost 2% to their payroll. The province giveth with one hand and taketh with the other.

So, we don’t know exactly how much the increase will be. Budget discussions will play out over the next 6 weeks but there really isn’t much that’s able to move. Once the CSRD decides how much is needed, to provide you, the taxpayer/receiver of services, all the services you receive. That number is sent to the province where they add their bit, and they decide what your mill rate will be. And then come June, we’ll all know how much our property taxes are for this year.

It’s an exciting process! And one that will be repeated every year.????

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