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Alberton residential taxes going up

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Alberton residential/farm ratepayers will be facing an average 11 percent increase in their municipal tax bill as council there looks to have the final bills in by Sept. 30.

Commercial ratepayers will see a two percent rise on average while those with industrial vacant land face a 19 percent hike.

Clerk Faye Flatt said the jump was due to the provincial “download,” reassessment, and changes in the education taxes, noting Alberton’s operations budget actually went down by $34,000.

With all the changes, the township is facing a $398,000 increase over last year’s budget. Flatt noted $358,000 of that was due to “downloading” (although it is getting $309,000 in special circumstances funding and the Community Reinvestment Fund to cover that).

On the residential/farm properties side, 310 will see a tax increase totalling $62,000 while 107 properties will see theirs go down by $27,000.

But ratepayers in the “farm” class will see an average 44 percent decrease in their tax bills this year.

“Only three properties have increases in the farmland,” Flatt said, noting that increase totalled $18 between the three.

In total, 51 farmlands will see decreases in their taxes totalling $3,800. That’s a trend that is happening across the district, noted Emo clerk Brenda Cooke, adding that class is taxed one-quarter of the residential.

Emo managed to hold a zero tax increase with the shuffling of services between the province and municipalities, and cut its operating budget by $36,000.

On average, residential/farm ratepayers there will see their tax bills drop eight percent while commercial occupied also drops.

“But . . . some are going to go up because of the current value assessment,” Cooke said, noting the town was last assessed in 1992. “The current value assessment did raise some and reduce some.”

It’s a similar situation in other district townships. In Morley, clerk Anna Boily noted they were collecting the same combined total for municipal and education as last year--and taxpayers won’t see a tax increase due to the municipal budget or the “download.”

“Not in overall tax dollars but people did see an increase due to assessment,” Boily said last week, noting the last assessment was done there in 1954.

“And that’s why we’re finding more changes probably here than municipalities that had been re-assessed over the past few years,” she added.

“We met most of our target savings,” echoed La Vallee clerk Laurie Witherspoon. “Overall, we know that our budget went down $16,000.”

“Unless reassessment made a change, we held the line,” said Chapple clerk Doris Dyson.

But both Dyson and Witherspoon agreed people could see their municipal tax bills go up or down with the re-assessment.

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