Cornwall council has turned to property owners who have their principal residence outside of P.E.I. to help balance their budget.

Property tax rate changes

  • Commercial rate: 86¢ to 96¢
  • Multi-unit properties: 46¢ to 66¢
  • Off-Island property owners: 46¢ to 92¢

Per $100 assessed value

Cornwall passed its budget Wednesday night, and property taxes are holding steady for most residents. Businesses are paying a little more, multi-unit property owners will see a significant jump, and off-Island property holders will pay a lot more. Residential and commercial tax rates for off-Island owners are doubling from 46 to 92 cents per $100 assessed value.

"In order to balance our budget and to move forward with our staffing to meet the needs of our residents and the services and programs we offer, that was our way of doing it," said finance chair Coun. Minerva McCourt.

"This is the first that we've done this, I would hope it wouldn't be a big burden on anybody. Hopefully there will be something else about the town of Cornwall that will draw them in, and not just look at the tax rate."

Capital is being severely curtailed, with most projects put on hold.

That led Coun. Marlene Hunt to cast the only vote against the budget. She was particularly concerned nothing is being done for a neighbourhood where residents have been complaining about water pressure for years.

The big one was the booster station for me," said Hunt.

"That's why I really had to vote no. Water pressure has been a huge issue in the town, and I felt it should have been a priority."

Hunt was also concerned about there being no money for sidewalks.

"Sidewalks are a real safety issue, and we want people out walking, I really feel we have to build sidewalks every year," she said.

While there was little money for capital projects, the town is hiring four new staff in three departments, the first hiring it's done since  2009.