Brome Lake – ten years ago 

Francine Bastien 

With 2023 comes a new activity report and, for the municipality and its citizens, a new tax bill. The Town of Brome Lake announced earlier that the property tax will increase this year by about 4.5%, below inflation, but still rising, especially as property values have increased sharply. If you’ve lived here for at least ten years, here’s how your ‘civic’ spending has evolved. 

In 2013, the city had 5,651 inhabitants, ten years later, there are 5,908. It should be noted that between 2012 and 2013, TBL lost 38 inhabitants while it gained 269 new residents between 2021 and 2022. In 2013, the land value of TBL was one billion 238 million dollars, it now reaches more than one billion 980 million. With operating revenues of $13,363,769, the average housing tax burden was $2,460. Today the operating budget reaches $17,292,000 and the average tax burden exceeds $2,845. 

Apart from inflation, what is more expensive for TBL? The municipality now has 50 permanent employees, excluding firefighters, first responders and other part-time employees; in 2013, it had 37 on its payroll. 

General administration expenses will increase from $1,649,920 to $2,379,000 in 2023. 

Public security, including the $2.2M for the police, reached $3,530,000 whereas it cost $2,608,960 in 2013. 

Culture and leisure activities eat up $2,185,000 this year compared to $1,169,100 ten years ago. 

Public works including road maintenance and snow removal were at the top of the cost pyramid in 2013: $3,117,370. They are there again this year gobbling up $4,085,000. 

Environmental protection cost $166,210 ten years ago. This year, environmental expenses represent 2% of total expenses, or $330,320. 

Finally, the city’s debt has more than doubled in ten years, going from $7,841,000 to $18,637,000. The increase in bank interest rates will only increase the cost of servicing the debt, which stands at $1,441,000 in this year’s budget. It was $1,030,795 in 2012.  In November 2013, a new council was elected headed by Mayor Richard Burcombe, after four tumultuous years at Town Hall. 

Source: Town of Brome Lake and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.