A drop in taxes is virtually unheard of these days, but the RM of Macdonald’s annual mill rate decreased slightly for 2013, thanks to a growing tax base.
The municipality’s 2013 financial plan was passed on April 23. Macdonald CAO Tom Raine said the municipality’s assessment rate went up over 3% as new houses and businesses were built and local residents added decks, garages and pools to their properties.
Because four school divisions share the geographic area Macdonald occupies, it’s difficult to say exactly how much average residential taxes will increase due to school taxes. Raine said the divisional hikes range from 2.7% to 5.5%.
While the municipality has some large projects, such as a lagoon expansion in La Salle and a new water treatment plant, listed in their five-year plan, Raine explained that they average the costs over a longer period and set aside revenue coming from new development in a reserve fund.
"We have 15-to 20-year programs so it smooths out those expenditures on sidewalks and streets," he said. "We even out the costs."
One infrastructure investment that’s starting to pay off is the extension of municipal sewer and water service to property along McGillivray Boulevard. Raine said the intent was to attract industrial development and this is happening now as several new industrial parks are being proposed for the area.