La Peche, Quebec drops tax rate 10 per cent

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by admin on January 21, 2010

Average homeowner will still pay 8 per cent more

Some lucky La Peche, Quebec residents may be saving some cash in property taxes this year, as the municipality has lowered the mill rate in its 2010 budget by 9.8 per cent to account for increased property evaluations. But with this year’s average property value increase of 18 per cent, most will still be paying more.

In its 2010 budget announced Jan. 11, La Peche’s mill rate – a fixed tax paid per dollar of property evaluation – dropped to .73/100 from last year’s rate of .81/100 in the 2010 budget.

“We can’t kid ourselves,” said La Peche Mayor Robert Bussiere.

“Taxes are going up for certain people. Some will stay the same and some will pay less.”

Property evaluations, conducted by the MRC des Collines government, start a new three-year roll this year. Bussiere said home evaluations have gone up by 18 per cent, on average in La Peche.

The 2010 La Peche budget of $10,493,568 is nearly double what is was in 2001 at $5, 673,325. Bussiere credits this climb to growth in the area since the early 2000s.

Public works took the lion’s share of the budget at $2,592,843. La Peche’s portion paid to the regional MRC des Collines government for police services went up to $1, 516, 909 from last year’s $1,468, 302 because of wage increases and the purchase of a new police cruiser.

La Peche will be paying $472,118 for fire services, down a bit from last year’s $494,064. Bussiere said the drop has to do with the departments needing less equipment this year.

Urbanism services also went up to $891,342 from $821,161, because of the population increases over the last few years. According to Bussiere more people moving to the municipality costs more in urbanism services.

In the culture and leisure department, the budget dropped down to $690,922 from last year’s $753, 273, as the municipality changed its mind about hiring a culture and leisure manager.

“The question becomes do you hire staff or do projects?” said Bussiere.

“We do have less staff, but we get things done with the help of the community.”

Health and wellness services will take a significant drop this year to $89,409 from last year’s price tag of $263, 720. Bussiere said the municipal cash injections for two senior housing apartments in Wakefield and Masham have been transferred and the projects near completion; hence, the smaller budget for health services this year.

Last year’s surplus of $183,577 was re-injected into the budget, something Bussiere said he will always do at the end of the year, instead of starting a “useless” reserve fund that just sits there.

“It doesn’t pay to have a reserve fund, unless you have a specific project, because the government gets your financial statements, they say ‘you are asking us for a grant and you have $1 million in the bank that you are not using?’ I’m not here just to build reserve funds, I’m here to re-inject it back into the community every year.”

Bussiere added that councillor wages would also be going up, but he wouldn’t say how much, as the resolution is being passed at the next council meeting.