“There is still some work to be done,” said Mayor François St-Amour during a phone interview following the December 13 council session. He noted that municipal staff will now work on the bylaw and lists of tax rates for specific property categories to present to council early in the new year for approval before the official property tax notices are mailed out.
The total budget for The Nation for next year is about $64.5 million. That includes the $19.8 million operations budget portion that deals with regular day-to-day expenses for programs, services, salaries, and other items. The capital works portion of the budget amounts to about $44.7 million.
During the past several weeks of budget review and revision, the original draft report had projected a possible tax increase of three per cent or more to the 2022 budget. During the last review session in November, council asked administration and finance official to try and redue the potential tax increase to 2.5 per cent.
The final budget approved on December 13 includes a two-per-cent tax increase. That means that the owner of an average residential property in the municipality, including house and land, valued at $264,000, will pay $40.03 more in property taxes next year. Other residential property owners may see higher or lower increases in their municipal property tax bills depending on the value of their properties. Commercial and other types of property owners will also see different increase amounts for their properties depending on the value and category of property.
Mayor St-Amour noted that the capital works portion of the budget includes two “very big” projects that account for almost half of next year’s capital plan expenses. One is completion of the water and wastewater treatment plant project for Limoges, and the other is finishing the water mainline connection between the villages of Limoges in The Nation and Cheney in Clarence-Rockland. The connection is part of the agreement The Nation has with the City of Clarence-Rockland for becoming part of the city’s water supply service system.
The roadwork portion of the capital works portion of the budget also amounts to $5.7 million. The Nation has since received confirmation from the province of several hundred thousand dollars more in infrastructure aid for road repairs. Council and staff will discuss what to do with that extra money in January. Possible options are to put the extra funding towards existing road projects and help reduce next year’s tax increase or use the money to deal with other small road projects on the municipality’s priority list.