Budget surplus split between taxpayer, halls

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Due to a number of factors Clearview’s overall tax increase came in lower than expected sparking a discussion about what to do with the surplus. 

On Monday, council members agreed to split the difference by putting half of the surplus into a fund for upgrades to community halls and return the other half to the taxpayer.

Major growth in the southern part of the county created a shift in the tax burden and some local growth reduced the other portion of the tax bill (county, education and policing) resulting in a 1.14 per cent increase, down from the previously approved 1.74 per cent. The difference is equal to $201,000 taxes collected. 

Council agreed that the money could be used for a community project that benefits the entire township and it was agreed that the community halls are still valued and there is a desire to keep them open and make them accessible. 

While Councillor Kevin Elwood spoke in favour of going with the lower rate at returning all of the surplus to the taxpayer, Deputy Mayor Barry Burton wanted to go the other way and put the $201,000 toward upgrades to the municipality’s community halls.    

Councillor Shawn Davidson had the most support for his suggestion to keep the tax increase under 1.5 per cent and use the surplus, calculated at $89,000, for the community halls reserve fund, bringing that reserve up to $250,000.

With a tax increase of 1.49 per cent, the average assessed homeowner would pay $3,172.40 in taxes in 2018.

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