TRURO – Residential and commercial tax rates in Truro are each increasing this year by one cent, per $100 of assessment.
The rates, approved Monday by Truro Town Council, will see the residential rate set at $1.78 per $100 of assessment while the commercial rate will be $4.46 per $100 of assessment.
Council approved an operating budget for the year of $25,463,090, which will include almost $250,000 for capital improvements for continued flood mitigation projects on the Salmon River.
The budget will also provide funds intended to help reduce flooding resulting from storm water runoff. As well, more than $1million is earmarked in the budget for street, curb and sidewalk capital projects this year.
Although the budget ultimately received unanimous consent from council, councillors Raymond Tynes and Brian Kinsman had initially said they were not going to support it because of concerns relating to a second-straight deficit at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre.
“I see nothing there to indicate a cutting of operating expenses,” Tynes said, regarding the RECC’s projected deficit for this year of $721,000, despite the fact, he said, that close to $2 million was cut from the town’s own departmental budget requests.
The RECC also reported a deficit of $737,000 for 2013, its first year of operation. The losses are to be paid equally by the town and the County of Colchester.
Tynes and Kinsmen both expressed concern that more efforts had not been made by RECC staff to cut their operating costs.
The increase to Truro’s residential tax rate will see homeowners pay an additional $10 per year on a property assessed at $100,000. However, ratepayers will also be impacted by the 2014 assessment set by Property Valuation Services Corporation, which see property assessments increase by a further 2.3 per cent for residential and by one per cent for commercial properties.
Homeowners who received an income of less than $24,515 during the 2013 calendar year are eligible to apply for an exemption of up to a $197 on their property taxes under the town’s low-income tax exemption policy.