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  • Taxes Up, But No Service Cuts as St. John’s Tables Heavy Budget

    Residents and businesses are going to be paying more in taxes next year as the capital city feels the pinch from declining residential property values.

    Residential rates are going up by 0.4 mils plus $25 a year for water so the new water rate will be $605, up from $580. The new mil rate will be 7.7. Commercial values have actually increased slightly but their tax rate has gone up to 26.1 mils, an increase of 1.4.

    Finance Lead Dave Lane says four out of every five properties will see an increase of less than $10 a year while one-third will pay the same or less.

    The city went into the budget with a shortfall of close to $9-million. The budget had gone up by about 2.4 per cent to almost $305-million.

    Payroll is about $3-million more but most of that is attributable to the hiring of eight people for the Kenmount Terrace Community Centre.

    There will be no decrease in service. In fact, an extra $150,000 has been allocated to sidewalk snow and ice control.

    Councillor Lane says the city is a lean machine, and has found ways to cut costs such as $295,000 in staff car allowances, but electricity and other costs have gone up.

    As well, the city’s subsidy for Mile One and the Convention Centre will be an extra $750,000.

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