Leamington Could See 1.8% Increase for 2020 Budget

am800-news-leamington-mayor-hilda-macdonald-december-19-2018

Leamington council has agreed in principle to a 1.8% tax increase for its 2020 budget.

Mayor Hilda MacDonald says the increase is along the lines of what was recommended by administration.

If given final approval, it would cost a home owner an additional $32 on a home valued at $175,000.

McDonald says the increase will cover ongoing improvements to the town's sewer system and uptown Leamington while maintaining services.

"To have good roads and have adequate lighting and programing at the amphitheatre, things going on by the water front," she says. "There's nothing that stands out in particular at this point. It's business as usual, getting the job of the municipality done to continue to make our community a good place to live."

She says an additional 1.8% is what the town needs to assure residents get the services they deserve.

"We want to have as many services as we can to make our community a better place to live and people don't always ... they compare us on the surface but they don't drill down into what exactly is being offered in our municipality compared to others and I think that's key," says MacDonald. "We have to compare apples to apples and often time that doesn't happen."

MacDonald tells AM800 News there are some factors that made a 0% tax increase impossible.

"Remembering also that we had some funding cut back [from the province] and our policing budget also went up by I believe six percent, so that added a fair chunk of change," she added.

The budget will come back to council this week, but it may not see final approval until the following meeting.