Essex town council approves 2019 budget with small tax hike

News source from CTV News

A tax increase is on the way for ratepayers in the Town of Essex, but how much will depend where they live in the community.

At Monday night’s budget meeting, Essex Town Council adopted the 2019 budget in principle.

The budget includes over $10 million in capital projects and infrastructure upgrades. The list includes a new accessible ramp and walkway at Colchester Beach, public washrooms at the new Essex Centre splash pad and the installation of LED streetlights throughout the municipality.

Council will also construct a new Fire Station #2 in McGregor and pay for improvements or the reconstruction of more than 20 kilometres of local roads, sidewalks and trails.

A combination of reserves, grants, and long-term debt will help fund the projects, along with a two per cent increase in the general mill rate, in line with inflation.

Residents in wards 2 and 3 will see a 1.77 per cent tax increase while those in wards 1 and 4 will see their taxes go up by 1.58 per cent.

The new mill rate will mean an annual increase of $28 for an average home valued at $179,000.

“The development of this budget was mindful of the valuable input and feedback received through the community engagement process,” says Jeffrey Morrison, Director, Corporate Services and Treasurer. “We believe the budget reflects those priorities and focuses on strengthening core municipal services while keeping taxes affordable.”

With the 2019 budget adopted in principle, Council will now consider the adoption of the five-year financial plan, which builds off the 2019 budget and plans for the years 2020 to 2023.

Formal adoption of the 2019 budget will happen at the April 1 meeting of council.

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