As people in Newfoundland and Labrador continue to grapple with rising costs, so does the town of Conception Bay South.
The town announced that it’s raising its residential property tax and increasing both residential and commercial water and sewer taxes, in a news release Tuesday.
The town will have a new residential tax rate of 7.3 mills, an increase of 0.15 mills, and the cost of water and sewer will increase by $20 to $635 per residential unit and $960 per commercial unit. Commercial property taxes will not rise — and will remain at 11.5 mills.
“Conception Bay South’s residential mill rate is one of the lowest of any comparable municipality on the Northeast Avalon and our commercial mill rate is on par with our neighbours to the east. We continue to be one of the most affordable places to live and do business.,” Deputy Mayor Andrea Gosse said in her budget speech.
The town’s 2023 budget, which is $39.7 million, also includes a $6.9 million investment in road work and $1.8 million towards its snow and ice control program.
Gosse said council’s priority for the 2023 budget was to minimize costs to residents, while also maintaining the integrity of the town’s programs and services.
However, she says increasing interest rates, COVID-19 supply chain issues and inflation have all presented challenges.
“Indeed, it was one of the town’s most challenging budgets in recent history,” said Gosse during Tuesday’s budget announcement. “Council understands that the current global economic conditions are making it challenging for many families to make ends meet.”
The budget also includes a $3 million investment in the town’s water and sewer services, as well as $1 million to complete the final phase of the town’s T’Railway, a 3.2 km extension of the trail from Doyles Road to Indian Pond.
Daycares, which were previously exempt from paying business taxes, will now have to pay the minimum business tax rate of $350 per year.
The town says its debt servicing costs will be reduced by $185,000, and that it will also continue plans to develop a new community center.
“We feel good about this budget,” said Gosse. “It’s never easy to present increases, but we’ve kept them to a minimum.”
The town of Grand Falls-Windsor also released its 2023 budget Tuesday, which is $21.2 million. In a news release, the town said property taxes won’t change, but that it’s charging more for water and sewer — an extra $70 for both residential and commercial properties.
The last residential property tax increase occurred in 2019, said the news release, while the last commercial property tax increase was in 2012. The budget includes investments for water and sewer upgrades, as well as equipment to improve the town’s baseball and softball fields.