ELMSDALE: Residents in the Municipality of East Hants will see a four cent reduction in their tax rate this year, budget documents released on March 13 show.
In a release, MEH said that the general residential/resource tax rate will decrease from $0.85 to $0.81 per $100 of property assessment. That equates to a four cent decrease per $100 of assessment or 4.7 per cent reduction.
Meanwhile, businesses will also see a decrease. MEH has set the commercial tax rate at $2.57 per $100 of property assessment, down three cents from $2.60. That’s a reduction of 1.2 per cent.
Councillors with MEH approved the 2023/2024 Operating Budget; the 2023-2028 Five Year Capital Budget; and the Water Utility Operating Budget, at its recent regular council meeting.
The approvals follow the presentation and review process. The budgets will come into effect on April 1, 2023.
The municipal budgets guide the spending required to meet the strategic objectives of council and provide services to residents.
Council approved a budget that balances fiscal responsibility with planning for the future. The overall municipal operating budget for 2023/2024 is $41.9 million.
“This budget allows us to balance the growth that East Hants is experiencing with the needs of our communities.” said Warden Eleanor Roulston in a release.
“I believe council has established a responsible budget that continues to provide key services, supports needed capital projects and maintains an affordable tax rate for our residents.
Some of the highlights of the budget include the following:
• Overall, residential assessment increased by 15.74%, half of which was due to new construction, subdivision, and permits
• The commercial assessment base has grown 15.66% with approximately 50% coming from new investment (primarily construction permits) in East Hants
• An increase of 11.3% in RCMP services includes an annual per officer increase of 2.47% and an
addition of two (2) officers to the East Hants detachment
• East Hants will pay the Province of Nova Scotia $6.4 million in contribution to education services, an increase of $563,000 or 9.7%
• Homes in the CAP Assessment Program were capped at a 7.7% assessment increase this year, which is the highest increase since the CAP program began.
In 2023 there were 422 new dwellings built in East Hants, up from 222 in 2022, something that the municipality has been planning for, said CAO Kim Ramsay in her message at the start of the operational business plan document.
“Several large developments have received approvals and several others have put in subdivision applications or for site plan approval,” said Ramsay. “With this comes a requirement to commit energy and resources to growing our programs, services and infrastructure.”
Ramsay said it is this growth that has led MEH council to make investments in the expansion of wastewater infrastructure in Shubenacadie and upgrades to the Enfield Water Treatment Plant.
“We are seeing significant growth throughout the urban communities between Enfield and Shubenacadie but also Mount Uniacke, where sub-urban housing developments are bringing new people to East Hants,” she said in the message.
ADVERTISEMENT:Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 92)
Council worked through the budget process to achieve reductions in both the general residential and resource tax rates and the commercial rate, realizing that minimizing the tax burden for tax payers was a key priority.
Tax rates are charged based on the assessed value of a property. Assessment rates are
determined by Property Valuation Services Corporation.
Residents and business owners can learn more about MEH budgeting and see the full business plan and capital plan at www.easthants.ca/budget.