New Brunswick

Doaktown's new hockey arena less appreciated after taxes go up

The Village of Doaktown approved a tax increase this year, and residents blame the new hockey arena. Property tax rates are going up 10.5 cents on every $1,000.

Mayor says village has to pay its bills

Prospect Place opened early in 2017. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

The Village of Doaktown raised the property tax rate this year, and residents blame the new hockey rink.

The rate is going up 10.5 cents for every $1,000 of assessment.

Residents don't think the rate, which was set at council's annual budget meeting earlier this year, should be going up at all. 

I know it's good to have an arena and stuff for kids, but this is pretty well a seniors community.- Linda Robinson

"I think it's ridiculous to live in this little town and pay the taxes that we pay," said Doaktown resident Brenda Weaver.

"It's wonderful to have a new arena, but again, I don't think a town this size with the people that's in it can support an arena that large."

Fellow resident Linda Robinson echoed that statement. 

The new arena cost $7.5 million, which was paid for by insurance. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

"I'm just one income, and it's hard," Robinson said. 

"I know it's good to have an arena and stuff for kids, but this is pretty well a seniors community. Most of us are 60-plus and it's hard for us to survive."

Mayor Bev Gaston confirmed the new arena did contribute to the increase, but it wasn't the only reason. He said the additional revenue will also go to the fire department, police and roads in the town of about 800 people. 

"It's unfortunate," Gaston said. "No one wants to put taxes up, obviously, but that's the way we pay the bills."

The rink, Prospect Place, opened last year and cost about $7.5 million. The money for the arena came from insurance, after the roof on the old rink collapsed.

Mayor Bev Gaston says people who use the rink and aren't from Doaktown need to find a way to support the arena. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

Gaston said that to prevent Doaktown's taxes from going up any higher, other communities who use the rink need to step up.

"More people use this building from outside the village of Doaktown, than inside," Gaston said. "So we're going to have to get help from those communities."

He said that could mean an outside user fee, though he would rather get the other communities together to figure out a different way they could support Doaktown and the rink.

Gaston said the village will also try to reduce future increases by holding more events at the arena, but for this year, the rate increase has already been approved. 


Philip Drost is a reporter with CBC New Brunswick.