March 14, 2017; Liverpool, NS: The Financial Conditions Index (FCI) report for the Region of Queens shows several areas in which the Region of Queens has out-performed the Rural Municipality Threshold in addition to surpassing the average of other areas also classified as Rural; these are known as “Green” rankings. There were also several “Yellow” rankings, areas in which the municipality is meeting the Rural Municipality Threshold, but is below the Rural Municipalities group average. There were only three indicators of the 15 areas that ranked “Red”, indicating that it does not meet the indicator threshold.
The indicators with a “Red” ranking are the Municipality’s uncollected taxes, 3-year change in tax base, and commercial property assessment. The Region of Queens has a higher than average percentage of uncollected taxes and have taken measures to work with residents to set up payment arrangements. In those instances where taxes remain unpaid for an extended period, or if payment arrangements have been unsuccessful, the Municipality places the property up for tax sale and therefore, this balance of uncollected taxes has been slowly declining over the past few years. The commercial property assessment and 3-year change in tax base indicators reflect minimal changes in commercial and residential assessment values.
Indicators in which the Region of Queens showed strength and surpassed the Rural Municipality Threshold were in the Budget Dimension, as well as the Debt & Capital Dimension. The Region of Queens plans for future projects through establishing budgeted reserve funds for upcoming projects. This allows the Region of Queens to reinvest in capital projects and infrastructure without exceeding reasonable debt capacity.
According to the Nova Scotia Municipal Affairs website, the FCI was designed as an early warning sign and provides a quick financial snapshot for each municipality, but is not meant to be a comprehensive assessment of performance for a municipality.