le Vendredi 3 février 2023
le Jeudi 19 janvier 2023 14:51 Tribune-Express (Hawkesbury)

Hawkesbury council asks for three tax rate plans

Hawkesbury council spent two days reviewing the first draft of the 2023 municipal budget, which includes a 5.1-per-cent tax increase. Council asked the finance department to prepare a second draft with three possible tax rate scenarios, ranging from between three and four per cent, for consideration during the next budget review session in February.  — photo Gregg Chamberlain
Hawkesbury council spent two days reviewing the first draft of the 2023 municipal budget, which includes a 5.1-per-cent tax increase. Council asked the finance department to prepare a second draft with three possible tax rate scenarios, ranging from between three and four per cent, for consideration during the next budget review session in February.
photo Gregg Chamberlain
Hawkesbury council has asked for three possible tax rate scenarios for this year’s budget plan.

Treasurer Philippe Timbers and his staff go back to their desks and their calculators to work on a second draft of the 2023 municipal budget. Council has asked for three possible tax rate scenarios to help determine spending priorities for this year’s budget

« I am very confident that we will not be cutting services, » said Mayor Robert Lefebvre, following the end of the Thursday morning session of a two-day budget review.

« It’s the most challenging (budget planning) ever for municipalities in a long time, » Mayor Lefebvre said. « We’re all in the same position. We’re all having to deal with inflation. »

Timbers also noted that inflation presents the biggest challenge in working out the operations side of this year’s budget. Inflation is pushing up costs for all supplies and services, from asphalt to electricity, that municipalities need for their operations.

The first draft of the budget that council reviewed includes a total operations budget of about $24 million and a proposed capital works budget of about $13 million.

If the preliminary budget was approved, that would mean a 5.1-per-cent tax increase. For the average homeowner, with a house and land valued at $162,000, that would mean a $95 property tax increase.

Council directed Timbers and his staff to review all their information and develop three different scenarios for consideration during the next budget review session. The three scenarios are for a 2.95-per-cent, a 3.5-per-cent, and a 3.95-per-cent tax increase.

Council will review the second budget draft, with the three tax rate scenarios, February 13.