Large tax increases not expected

Council and staff are working on the 2013 budget, not expecting a large tax increase

While municipal council and staff and the finance committee are preparing the 2013 budget, a significant tax increase is not in the works, Mayor Janice Perrino said.

“We’re examining our options,” she said. “Our finance committee has gone to great depth to look at our needs.”

She said there are no big changes planned for this year’s municipal budget, but the municipality will make sure to have enough money to pay its debts and keep up with infrastructure demands.

For this year, the municipality is working on upgrades on Prairie Valley Road.

In recent years, other infrastructure projects have included the upgrade to Rosedale Avenue and Prairie Valley Road, the expansion of Thirsk Dam and the water treatment plant.

Borrowing was required for each of these projects and the municipality is continuing to pay down the debts.

During her time as mayor, Perrino has worked to keep tax increases low. Last year, taxes rose by 1.5 per cent per cent and in 2011, the increase was one per cent.

“It’s the toughest part of our job,” Perrino said. “We hate to go with any sort of a tax increase.”

While municipal council has been slow to raise taxes, Perrino added that the municipality is not looking to make substantial spending cuts in order to keep the tax level from increasing.

“It’s not about saving tax dollars; it’s about good government,” she said.

The budget will be presented and finalized later in spring.