(File photo)

(File photo)

Sidney’s taxes going up this year

Town calls increase “modest,” represent a $34/year jump for the average household

An average Sidney household will pay $34 a year more in municipal taxes this year.

The municipality recently completed its financial plan for 2018 and the council approved a total tax increase of 2.43 per cent. That is approximately $2.82 a month over what residents paid in the municipal potion of their taxes in 2017.

“By working with Town staff and listening to the priorities expressed by our residents, we have found innovative ways to make several minor changes to the proposed budget in order to reduce the financial impact to taxpayers,” stated Mayor Steve Price in a media release. “As always, this has been accomplished without affecting services or the long-term financial health of the Town.”

Total municipal taxes for the average residence will be about $1,438 for this year, or $120 per month, according to the Town. For this, the Town provides fire and police services, road maintenance, parks and public space maintenance, community and emergency planning, bylaw enforcement and related community services.

The municipality pointed out that the rest of residents’ tax bills will be made up of charged from other jurisdictions (schools, library, hospital) that they do not control.

Also impacting on people’s final tax bill will the fact that average property assessments in Sidney went up more than 20 per cent this year, making the average house valued at $619,000.

With the approval, the Feb. 20 special budget meting is cancelled.

As part of the updated 2018-2022 financial plan, Sidney council approved various changes to help keep the budget in order this year.

Eliminated or moved to another year include:

Seagull control study ($5,000) – deferred to 2019

Half of the cost of council chamber upgrades ($5,000) – deferred to 2019

Totem Park shelter and trees ($20,000) – deferred to 2019

Bevan Avenue sidewalk replacement ($30,000) – deferred to 2019

Decorative street lighting ($30,000) – eliminated

Approved for this budget year:

West Sidney Local Area Plan – $50,000

Ocean Avenue curb realignment ($30,000) – approved from community amenity fund.

Skatepark sidewalk and Resthaven Avenue curb work ($15,000 and $20,000) – approved and funded from gas taxes.

$5,000 for World Rowing’s 2018 Coastal Championships – approved.