The shift in the economy in Nova Scotia has been challenging, with much attention focused on balance between the provision of services and a tax rate that residents and businesses can manage. The Region of Queens Council approved a budget that includes a two cent increase in residential and resource tax rates. There is no increase to the commercial tax rates. The residential and resource rate for District 13 (Liverpool) is $1.87/$100 assessment, and for Districts 1 – 12 is $0.99/$100 assessment. The commercial tax rate for District 13 is $2.95/$100 assessment and in Districts 1 – 12, it is $2.07/$100 assessment.
"The outlook all over Nova Scotia is about belt tightening. We are in the same situation here in Queens. Payments that Municipalities typically receive from government and institutions have been decreased, while the levies Municipalities are required to pay have increased," said Christopher Clarke, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. "Nearly one and a half cents of the tax rates hikes are attributed to the things we have no control over."
Capital projects being undertaken this year in addition to the water and sewer projects in Brooklyn and Liverpool also include work being done on the Bridge in Milton. Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is building a new two lane bridge to replace the single lane bridge currently in use. It will be relocated somewhat closer to the falls which will require the sewage pump station, piping and force-main to be relocated.
There will also be a reserve fund built up over five years to cover the costs of the review of the Municipal Land Use Bylaw, which the Region is required to do periodically. The community is in a redevelopment stage, following the closure of the Bowater mill.
"This is the third consecutive year that we have been able to hold the commercial tax rates without an increase," said Mayor Clarke. "Liverpool has the third lowest commercial tax rate in the province, and this serves as a draw for those considering communities in which to open a business. Over nearly three years since the Bowater closure, we have seen many small businesses start up in Queens, and want to continue to see growth in our business community."
The 2015-2016 Region of Queens Municipality Budget will be posted on the Region's website at http://www.regionofqueens.com/fincance/financial-statements/budget .