Kenora councillors are having a difficult time getting their 2019 tax increase down to a more reasonable number. Going into yesterday's discussion on the operating budget, councillors were looking at an increase of 6.4 per cent in the tax levy. As a result, councillors worked throughout the day to bring the number down to a more acceptable level.

In 2018, the city raised $25.4 million through its tax levy, an increase of 2.56 per cent from 2017. Each percentage point is estimated to be worth $245,000.

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 over last year's bill of $2,390.49 on a property that was worth $166,750.

Considering last year's property value assessment went up 5.25 per cent, it meant council actually decreased city spending, in order to reduce the impact on home owners. According to city staff, 37 per cent of the bill -- equal to $784 -- goes towards other organizations.

Home owners in Kenora are hoping to avoid a significant property tax increase this year. However, the average increase in residential property value assessments is 5.2 per cent this year.

The increases are without the 1.1 per cent increase to help reduce the infrastructure deficit. Consultants have advised council to gradually reduce their maintenance shortfall for roads and bridges over a 20-year period, but council was unable to meet their goal last year.

For more information:

Kenora tax bill breakdown

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