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Labrador City $24.5 million budget passed

Labrador City Deputy Mayor Fabian Benoit delivers the 2019 budget.
Labrador City Deputy Mayor Fabian Benoit delivers the 2019 budget. - Mike Power

Taxes and fees remain largely the same

LABRADOR CITY, N.L.

On Tuesday, Dec. 11, Labrador City Deputy Mayor Fabian Benoit presented the town’s budget for 2019.

The budget passed by council is for $24.5 million, which is actually about $100,000 less than last year.

As most people want to know about taxes and fees, those were the first things announced. For the upcoming year, the commercial property tax, business tax and water and sewer rates will remain the same.

Residents will notice an increase in the mill rate for residential property tax. The rate increased due to the decreased value of home assessments in the area. The decrease averages 27 per cent. Provincial government rules require towns to keep the same level of taxation, so towns have to increase the mill rate to offset the decrease in assessments.

For many, there will be very little change from what they paid previously for property tax. In some cases there could be an increase if there was a lot of work done to a property.

The town announced that rebates to low income tax payers will have their threshold rates increased.

Taxpayers will also notice there are no increases for permits, rentals, municipal fees and recreation user fees.

Benoit pointed out that the grant in lieu of taxes from the Iron Ore Company of Canada, of almost $8,250,000, allows the town to have one of the lowest property tax mill rates in the province. As well, properties will now be assessed annually, which will avoid any big surprises when assessments are done several years apart.

When it comes to expenditures, Labrador City will increase the funding for snow clearing for seniors and people with disabilities.

A new initiative is a program to develop a senior’s taxi program. That’s expected to start next spring with details to be announced later.

There is also additional funding for installation of more speed bumps, and the honorarium to volunteer firefighters will increase.

In capital works some of the highlights are:

• $40,000 in walking trail development.

• Upgrades to make the Carol Curling Club more accessible.

• $70,000 for indoor playground equipment. The town acknowledged Canadian Tire for a $20,000 contribution to the program.

• Automatic external defibrillators will be installed in outdoor recreation areas.

Full details of the budget can be seen at the town’s website www.labradorwest.com

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