The city of Kenora is looking to raise an additional 3.55 per cent this year. City councillor Mort Goss talks about the increase.

"We're starting at about two per cent already, so it's a tough hole to dig out of," he said.

Goss argues about two per cent of the increase will come from the cost of policing, as well as mandated programs council has no control over.

Budget estimates are expected to pass formally later this month, during council's monthly meeting March 19. The city is still waiting for school board rates, so tax bills issued in the summer for the second half of a property owner's total will be adjusted to reflect final amounts.

From the city's perspective, the 3.55 per cent represents an increase of about $900,000 on a tax levy of about $25 million.

In 2018, the city raised $25.4 million through its tax levy, an increase of 2.56 per cent from 2017.

For a home valued at $175,500 -- middle of the pack in the 2018 market -- the bill was for $2,443, about $52 dollars than in 2017 or a 2.6 per cent increase.

Four positions have been previously impacted, including the receptionist at city hall and the fitness consultant's position at the rec centre. An automated attendant is being used at city hall, and arrangements are being made for the rec centre members. No further staffing impacts are anticipated.

Tough decisions by councillors included:

  • addressing a small surplus at the library
  • rates of return for the Properity Trust Fund
  • plans for Handi-transit and public transit

In previous years, the city took into account increases in property tax assessment. This year, the average home's assessment is expected to rise about 5.2 per cent.

For more information:

Tough time with taxes

 

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