The CH trumpets the headline “Municipality cuts property tax rates.” A report on Shelburne’s budget for 2009/10 (set in July) follows. We couldn’t help making some comparisons with Wolfville and questioning what was missing in the report.
The report says the tax rates (mill rates) in Shelburne were reduced to $1.30 (Res.) and $1.82 (Comm.) Unfortunately the reporter (Brian Medel – Yarmouth Bureau) neglected to tell his readers how much the rates were reduced. And when the reporter tells us ” Tax rates were reduced last year by the same amount,” !!we want to yell ” but by how much?”
The reporter at least did tell us what the amount of the budget was, which is more important information than the amount of the rate, because we all know by now, surely, that rates alone are meaningless. Shelburne [population 2013 in 2007] set a budget for 09/10 of $6.7 million.
It was interesting to see that Shelburne has been reducing its rates, both residential AND commercial, as assessments there have risen, as assessments have almost everywhere.
Also of note was what they were able to include in their (smaller than Wolfville) budget. The report claims that Council allocated $170,000 as a share of a new medical clinic and set aside $80,000 to help with physician recruitment. [We want to ask the reporter – ” is that over several years? It would be important to know.] There is also mention of purchasing a piece of land in the Shelburne Industrial Park [They have an industrial Park!] t o develop and to extend water and sewage service. They are paying attention to their business community because “the percentage of commercial tax revenues is rather low at 11% and … council wants to diversify the economy.” Wolfville takes in 15% of revenues [because of higher rates?] from its dying business sector which is also a low portion. Wolfville raised its commercial tax rate this year by, correct us if we are wrong, 8 cents.
Another interesting bit of information: Shelburne’s policing costs were $549,635 half of Wolfville’s RCMP bill which is over $1 million.
We note that on the municipal report card put out by AIMS which we reported on in previous posts. Shelburne placed 4rth out of 47 municipalities in effectiveness and efficiency in delivery of Municipal services. Wolfville, as you might remember, placed 43/47
We will let you come to your own conclusions.
With the expertise available in Wolfville one would expect this to be one of the best run municipalities in the Province outside of Halifax. We would be happy if we thought this was the case. We want to be proud of our town.