1.92% Tax Increase for Average Pelham Residential Property

We approved the 2015 Operating Budget during our Town Council meeting on February 17. It translates to an increase of 1.92% for the average residential Pelham property (assessed at $302,815).

While Council approved a minimal impact to you and other property tax-payers, we did increase the Town’s level of service and support the ongoing sustainability of our infrastructure

First, the budget again required Town departments – including the Library – to hold at a zero budget increase while continuing to develop efficiencies and cost savings.

Second, we allowed only “uncontrollable” increases – like for WSIB (Workplace Safety & Insurance Board) coverage, Canada Pension Plan, or insurance premium – and a cost of living adjustment (COLA) equivalent for Staff. (I use the word “equivalent” because over the last 18 months the Town developed a Staff Performance Management system to foster innovation and exceptional service and to discourage mediocre work.)

Third, based on increased service requests from the community, Council approved adding two Equipment Operators to the Public Works department. These new, front-line staff will help the Town maintain our infrastructure and better serve the public. (Applications close March 13 at www.pelham.ca/career-opportunities.)

Finally, because of our ongoing commitment to improve Town infrastructure – like roads, sidewalks, and parks – we again added a 5% increase on the transfer to our 2015 capital budget.

As a result of these and other initiatives, Council approved a net budget increase of $336,887 (on a $10,085,969 net budget) or 3.46% BEFORE adjusting for real assessment growth.

Real assessment growth – from new businesses, new homes, or improvements to existing properties – was valued at $98,478 or 1.01%. (This growth has nothing to do with MPAC’s changes in market value assessment of existing properties.)

After accounting for that growth, the net effect on the tax levy will be $238,409 or an overall 2015 Operating Budget increase of 2.45%.

What does that mean for your pocket book, you ask?

Well, the average residential property value for 2015 is expected to be $302,815. If your home and property were assessed at that value, you would be paying an additional $26 – or 1.92% – for a total of $1,381 for the Pelham portion on your property tax bill.

From what we are seeing, Pelham will likely be the lowest or second lowest increase in Niagara again this year.

I will write more about your total property tax impact after Regional Council approves the 2015 rates and ratios later this spring.

For more information about Pelham’s Operating Budget, please check out www.pelham.ca/town-hall/budgets-reports.

You may contact Mayor Dave at mayordave@pelham.ca or read past columns at www.pelhammayordave.blogspot.com.