The Municipal Council approved the 2007 Budget at a meeting on Wolfe on June 27th. Attending from Howe Island was Councilor Matt Fiene .
The bottom line for Howe Island residential ratepayers is an increase in the taxrate of 3.5% over 2006. With assessments frozen by the Province ( unless you had an addition on your home ) this increase in tax rate translates into a 3.5% increase in your total tax bill.
When you look at the build up in the total, it is split almost equally between the provincial education levy, the county levy and our local township levy, which comprises Howe Island items and a share of the Municipal overhead.
What happened with each ?
Provincial Education NO CHANGE
County of Frontenac + 1.5%
Howe Island + 9.4%
It is not immediately apparent why the township component has jumped so much. Roads are one factor where an increase in spending and a drop in provincial subsidies resulted in net spending jumping about 100% over 2006. The new Firehall has a carryover from 2006 to 2007 and this blurs the net year to year change. We will dig into the accounts and let you know in due course the breakdown of this 10% increase in local levies.
The Mayor added a ” what if” scenario on his priority topic which is to remove area rating from the municipal budget. In a nutshell this would increase Howe taxes and reduce Wolfe taxes, not something that HIRA supports and is contrary to the terms of our municipal amalgamation.
Geoff Hobbs will keep a close eye on this as a new HIRA director.