CORNWALL, Ontario - Looks like another tax levy increase is looming on the horizon.
City councillors will learn the details of a two per cent tax levy hike that is being considered for 2014 when they meet Monday night.
The tax levy increase, which is nowhere close to being cast in stone, is forecast by city bean counters who are getting their budget line items together in advance of the 2014 budget deliberations which typically begin in January each year.
City hall's finance department has grouped the levy hike into the following areas:
- Capital projects funded by the tax base will remain at the same level as in the 2013 budget at ($1.5 million) excluding water and sewer.
- Operating budgets for police, fire and EMS should not to exceed an increase of 2.5 per cent of their respective 2013 budgets.
- Operating budgets for city departments (excluding police, fire, EMS, water and sewer) should not texceed an increase of 1.5 per cent of their respective 2013 budgets.
- Community agencies funding envelop should be maintained at $560,000, which is the amount funded in 2013. It is important to note that $500,000 was funded from the tax base and during the final approval when the 2013 budget was presented to council, there was an additional $60,000 taken from working reserves to put towards these grant applications.
Council set a target to not have combined levy increases over the four-year term for 2011 to 2014 exceed eight per cent.
In a report to city councillors, administrators said if the increase in the tax levy for 2014 is at or below 2.6 per cent, council would still meet the original target that was established in 2011. The combined levy increases for 2011, 2012 and 2013 are virtually the same as the cost of living for the same period, about 5.39 per cent, according to the Bank of Canada.