Elk Point’s Manager of Finance Mir Ali, and CAO Ken Gwozdz presented council with a balanced budget that includes no mil rate increase for 2019.
At the regular council meeting held April 23, Ali explained that with the recent change in government, the education requisition part of the municipal taxes has not been assessed, so the Town, just like most municipalities around the province, calculated income and expenses on the assumption that the requisition will remain the same as in 2018. For Elk Point, this means the mil rate has been kept at the current level.
The 2019 Operating Budget was approved with $5,317,750 for expenditures and $4,021,750 for revenue.
Ali showed council that the Town’s total tax revenue decreased by about $55,000 over what was budgeted last year. Higher CPP payments for employees and councilors and money towards the transfer site dozer contributed to expenses, but the shortfall was managed by a reduction in the rate paid for water from the regional water commission, as well as injecting $13,000 from surplus, moving recreation coordinator expenses from the operating budget to the recreation budget, reducing donations to organizations, and increasing revenue from other sources.
While reviewing the budget, Councillor Terri Hampson questioned a line for a sign at the golf course. Gwozdz explained that golf club representatives Don Schultz and Dick Millar had approached the town to erect a sign at the entrance to the course. The town would rent the sign for $150 for 2019 and $500 annually after that. The sign would support advertising from local businesses, and would thus generate revenue for the golf course. In return, the golf course would eliminate the rate that the Town pays for maintenance of the campgrounds. Hampson said she would rather see a sign at the highway entrance to the recreation grounds that promotes all the facilities – showers, camping, soccer fields, ball diamonds, and golf course – and that does not provide funding for one specific recreational facility. For now, the town will uphold the budget as proposed, although may look into alternatives to the sign.
Gwozdz concluded the budget presentation by acknowledging “we keep cutting the operating budget so we don’t have to raise the mil. But we’re getting really tight. There’s no guarantee about next year.”
The Town is banking on recent sales of land parcels for $1 to lead to an increase in the tax base from business investment and relocation to Elk Point. As Gwozdz put it, “word is out. Elk Point is open for business.”
As for the Capital Budget, proposed expenses for 2019 total $1,842,400, as follows:
|Photocopier – office||$16,000|
|½ Ton Truck||$35,000|
|Airport – Upgrade||$70,000|
|Bulk Water Station – Concrete Pad||$50,000|
|Water Line Replacement 52 Ave to lane east of 54 St||$276,200|
|52 St/Ravine Drive||$367,700|
|Storm Sewer Lift Station||$997,500|
The town will continue the $7/month surcharge to utilities until all the new water meters are installed and paid for. A $500,000 planned extension to 60th Avenue has been struck from the budget.
Tax amount is determined by multiplying the mil rate by the assessed property value. If a person/business property value decreased, the total taxes paid will decrease, if property value increased than the total taxes due will increase. Or if property value remained the same, taxes owed will remain the same.