In light of an important increase in property valuations – 9.3% on average – TBL council has limited its impact on property taxes by reducing the mill rate to 65 cents/$100 valuation on residential and agricultural properties for 2019. The mill rates applying to other non-residential properties remain unchanged. The tax increase amounts to less than 1% for a majority of taxpayers.
In more concrete terms, this means that a property valued at $300,000 will see its tax bill increase by $23. At the other end of the scale, a lakefront property valued at one million will see a tax jump of $1,377. No matter the property value, some services will cost more; the main culprit being the new collection of compost. The combined collection cost of garbage, recycling and composting will reach $197.50 per household, an increase of $61 over last year.
TBL feels the impact of the international recycling crisis. The rates are going up. The new composting bins will be emptied 37 times a year – every 2 weeks in winter, in summer once a week. It is expected that the new system will reduce garbage collection to once every two weeks year-round.
If property taxes account for the bulk of the town’s revenues, $10,725,000, the transfer tax, recently increased, is expected to sup- ply $700,000 in revenue to the town if the real estate boom continues.
As far as expenses go, the outlook remains stable with Public Works and Land Management, respectively costing 6.2% and 8.1% of budget.
How the money will be spent
Over and above the regular management expenses of the town, the renovation of Town Hall will require $1.5M and the acquisition of the ladder fire truck will make a dent of $1,017,000 in the 2019 budget. The truck will be able to reach the top of 3-storey buildings. Zoning bylaws may be changed to allow taller buildings in TBL in the future. More studies on the reconstruction of the Blackwood Dam will cost $200,000 and the dam is not expected to be rebuilt before 2020.
Building the two bridges to tie Trestle Cove to the walking path will now wait until the fall, perhaps next winter. It had been planned for this coming spring. The cost remains $1M.
Police services are expected to cost up to $2M. The town has hired lawyers to draft a private bill to get the National Assembly to allow TBL to join the Bromont police force in order to gain efficiency and savings.
Rebuilding roads, notably Domaine Brome and Soles Rd., are planned as is the construction of water and sewage system for the West Brome mobile homes park at a cost of $2.6M covered in large part by government grants.
Finally the town’s debt is rising again and will reach $16,624,000 in 2019. It has more than doubled in five years.