The McBride Village Council has been busy with decisions regarding the Fees and Charges Bylaw, the 2017 Budget, the Five Year Financial Plan and the Tax Rate Bylaw in order to complete filing before the deadline date of May 15, 2017.
Meetings began on April 2, followed by another on April 6 and again on April 11 before the Regularly Scheduled Council Meeting, as well as April 13, with more scheduled in the upcoming weeks.
At the April 13 meeting, Council discussed line-by-line items looking for ways to cut expenses and come up with a fairly accurate financial projection for the upcoming year.
Part of the discussion involved concern over increases in taxation for local property owners. With $50,000 removed from the tax base in the 2016 budget, and with additional pressures to pay down the NDIT loan over the next four years, projections saw possibilities of as much as 10.7 percent for 2017, followed by an estimated three percent increase the following year.
In order to avoid a single year increase of 10.7 percent, Councillor Thompson made a motion for the increase to be spread over two years, with an increase of eight percent in the 2017 year and an additional increase for the following year. The motion was seconded by Councillor Hruby.
After some discussion the motion was passed with a vote of three to two, with Councillor Edwards and Mayor Martin opposed. Edwards felt that more information on the asset lifespan and repair requirements was needed and that perhaps the taxation increase should be higher; while Mayor Martin was more in favour of the 10.7 percent increase for 2017.
The next budget meeting scheduled for April 18 was to give first, second and third reading to the Five Year Financial Plan and the Tax Rate Bylaws