MELFORT— The City of Melfort has finalized their 2020 budget, with an average property tax increase of 2.07 per cent.
The city’s mill rate increased by .29 to 10.75.
Rick Lang, Melfort’s mayor credits this increase largely to inflation.
“There’s been two per cent worth of inflation,” Lang said. “While unfortunately nobody likes a tax increase, inflation impacts every aspect of the budget.”
He also credited the tax increase to the federal carbon tax, which the city is anticipating will cost about $52,000; contract increases; and $85,000 for internal capital infrastructure commitments such sidewalk replacement.
“We decided probably five to six years ago we would build that fund, and that’s strictly for replacing hard assets,” he said.
For a residential property with a taxable assessment of 200,000, this will mean an increase of $44.66 or 1.94 per cent. For commercial property with a taxable assessment of 250,000, this will mean an increase of $136.30 or 2.43 per cent.
“Two-point-zero-seven is a fantastic budget, I think. Especially with respect from some of the numbers I’ve seen from other communities.”
City council also voted to increase debt capacity of the city from eight million dollars to $17 million dollars.
“It’s not a secret that we’ve put in for some federal [and] provincial funding through an application,” Lang said, referring to financial assistance the city is trying to get for their water lines.
“Typically how that works is, as we’re doing the work the city has to fund the entire amount, and then after a certain portion of work has been done we send in the receipts or the bills.”
Lang said the project will not be undertaken without the federal and provincial funding.
“We won’t be borrowing any of that money unless that application for federal [and] provincial funding is approved.”