After months of juggling numbers and finding places to cut down on expenses, the Town of Ladysmith has found a way to keep residential property tax rates below four per cent for 2013.
Council adopted its tax rates bylaw May 13. For 2013, the residential property tax rate comes in at 3.9 per cent, while the commercial tax rate is two per cent, and the tax dollar levy for major industry will remain the same as 2012.
“Council has provided direction that the tax rate come in at the same tax levy for major industry, that commercial tax rates would be half the residential, and the residential rate would be under five per cent,” said Erin Anderson, the Town’s director of financial services. “The residential assessments have decreased 3.6 per cent due to the market, and the tax rate comes in as council has directed at just under four per cent. The average house from 2012 to 2013 will pay an additional approximately $50 for municipal tax, overall about $87, which includes a $10 increase in the water parcel tax.”
Coun. Steve Arnett commended Town staff for working so hard to get the residential tax levy down below four per cent.
At the beginning of the financial plan discussions in February, without any cuts in the budget, the residential tax increase had been 9.2 per cent — including the library and policing taxes over which council has no control — and council asked staff to come back with an increase that was between four and five per cent for residential taxpayers, excluding the library and policing taxes.