Shelburne Town Council Approves 2015-16 Operating Budget
Shelburne, NS – The Shelburne Town Council approved an operating budget totaling $3.69 million on April 14th, 2015. The approved residential tax rate of $2.04 per $100 of assessment and the approved commercial tax rate of $3.86 per $100 of assessment remain unchanged from last year. Sewer charges will be held at $198 per unit and the new solid waste charge is now fully implemented – covering 100% of solid waste services provided by the Town – increasing to $209 per unit for total budgeted revenues of $209,208. The Council has also approved an increase in the new low-income tax exemption program which was introduced in last year’s budget, with the minimum household income necessary to qualify for the program increasing to $25,000; the program provides up to $100 of tax relief to qualifying tax payers.
The Town faces numerous financial pressures, but the Council remains conscious of residents’ ability to pay for the increasing costs of municipal services; police services for example – representing almost 18% of the Town’s entire operating budget – are expected to rise by over 12% from 2014-15 levels. Additionally, this year Nova Scotia’s Provincial budget – released on April 9th, 2015 – froze equalization payments to the Town while increasing appropriations for Education, Housing and Justice, resulting in the Town retaining just 5% of $359,645 in provincial operating assistance in 2015-16.
The operating budget continues Council priorities for the community with key investments including:
- Providing over $215,000 in tax exemptions, subsidies and grants to support community groups and organizations.
- Strengthening the Town’s Community & Economic Development Department which provides planning and development services, economic development, tourism and promotion, and festivals and events coordination for the Town and nearby municipal units.
- Reviewing and updating the Town’s Municipal Planning Strategy and Land-Use By-law to minimize red tape and encourage economic growth.
- Additional resources for tourism promotion and marketing, building on the successful launch of the new shelburneandlockeport.com tourism website, serving eastern Shelburne County.
- Continued participation in the South Shore Regional Enterprise Network which is expected to be up and running this year.
- Support for the proposed Shelburne medical clinic project.
- Increased funding for capital reserves; $77,670 budgeted for 2015-16, a 9% increase from 2014-15. Capital reserves are essential to supporting infrastructure rehabilitation and upgrades.
The Town’s three-year capital budget for 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 is anticipated in May, 2015. The complete 2015-16 Town Budget – operating and capital – will then be made available on the Town of Shelburne website at www.town.shelburne.ns.ca.
For Additional Information Contact:
Dylan Heide, CAO
875-2991 Ext. 5