Tax increase expected for LaSalle residents
The 2024 draft budget for the Town of LaSalle has been released.
The draft includes a summary of the significant changes in the proposed upcoming budget, a summary of the proposed departmental budgets, and the proposed 2024 Capital Budget.
While it still needs to be discussed by council, if approved, the municipal levy will increase by $3.5-million over the 2023 Municipal Budget.
This means that if approved residents would see a tax increase of $193.42 annually, or $16.11 a month on the average home.
These increases would include approximately $334,000 for policing costs for wages and benefits, transfers to reserves, and adding two new constables, about $2.2-million for enhancements such as funding the master plans, and investments in technology and infrastructure, and $1.9-million for inflationary changes such as wages and benefits, and garbage collection costs.
The average single family home in LaSalle has an assessed value of $269,000 as determined by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. While this differs significantly from the current sales market, the assessed value is used in determining property taxes.
The province has postponed the property assessment update since 2016, meaning properties are based from seven years ago.
Crystal Meloche, mayor of LaSalle, says money needs to be set aside for projects already in the works.
"Every year we do put some funds aside into the LaSalle Landing waterfront project to be able to continue to develop that, and also the new fire substation, we just broke ground on that a couple of weeks ago so we want to make sure that we continue to fund that and get our second station up and running to make our community safer."
She says taxes are based on resident's MPAC assessment, which hasn't been done since 2016 as the province hasn't completed a new assessment.
"So taxes are actually paid upon your 2016 assessment. So even though we're seeing sales that may be double the price of what your home is assessed at, you're not paying taxes on that. So we want to make sure people understand that they're paying taxes based on their assessed value of their home."
Meloche says an open house will be held before budget deliberations for the community to have input.
"Residents can come and speak to administration or council about maybe the concerns they have, or maybe they don't understand part of the budget, or just want a more in-depth look at the budget and have someone there to explain things. So, we just want to give them that opportunity to come and talk to us, share concerns, share thoughts."
The Town will host a Budget Open House in the lobby at the Vollmer Culture and Recreation Complex on November 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The budget sessions will be held on December 6, and December 7, if needed, at the LaSalle Civic Centre.
Comments from the public about the budget are encouraged and must be submitted in writing to the Clerk December 1 at noon.
A link to the proposed draft budget can be found by clicking here.