Nfld. & Labrador

Mount Pearl taxes rise, no cuts to services in 2016 budget

While the new City of Mount Pearl budget brings in a tax increase, there are no cuts to any services for the year ahead.
The Mount Pearl City Council decreased its residential mil rate from 7.4 to 7, and maintained its commercial mil rate at 12. (Maggie Hynes)

While the new City of Mount Pearl budget brings in a tax increase, there are no cuts to any services for the year ahead — unlike decisions made just a day earlier in neighbouring St. John's. 

Residential property taxes are up five to seven per cent in the budget released Tuesday, due largely to a 14 per cent increase in property assessments this year.

To mitigate the impact of rising property values, city council has reduced the residential mil rate from 7.4 to 7 mils, while keeping the commercial mil rate steady at 12.

Water taxes will not change from the current rate of $600 per year. 

"It's difficult for us to be able to create a situation where everybody is saved from a tax increase and also be able to provide the services that we're proud to provide in the city of Mount Pearl," said Coun. Andrew Ledwell, co-chair of the corporate and community services committee.

"We think that's a manageable increase and certainly we plan to provide great value for that increase when it comes to our municipal services."

While the recent St. John's budget brings in several cuts to city services, the Mount Pearl budget does not include any service reductions. Mount Pearl will continue to deliver bulk garbage collection services, automated waste pickup, and cost-shared water and sewer repairs, among other services.

There will be no change to any municipal development permits, licences or fees.

(CBC)

The city is also spending $13 million on municipal infrastructure projects, including street renovations, and water and sewer upgrades. These projects are partially funded by the provincial and federal governments.

Mount Pearl will also fund updates to the Admiralty House Museum and the Reid Community Centre.

Mount Pearl will also continue its leak detection program, which began in 2015. The city uses a water correlator to identify where water leaks are located, so that staff can more easily make repairs. Ledwell said the program has so far been a success.

"We can stop the leaks, stop the water, and literally the money, from running away from us," said Ledwell.

"Certainly it saves the city money and mitigates water costs that continue to rise."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura Howells is a multi-platform reporter and radio producer. She has worked for CBC in Toronto, Hamilton, Whitehorse, and St. John's. Send story ideas to laura.howells@cbc.ca and follow her on Twitter @LauraHowellsNL.

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