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Budget talks begin at Cornwall city hall

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Budget talks begin at Cornwall city hall
City budget talks began Friday at city hall.
PHOTO CREDIT - File Photo

Cornwall - Jan. 21, 2011 - The annual city budget deliberations got underway Friday as members of the city's budget steering committee got their first look at the draft 2011 budget.

The initial budget figures represent a slight decrease in the overall budget, dropping to $140.7 million from $141.9 million last year. However due to the changes in assessment, funding formulas and other factors, the average taxpayer would still see an increase of more than five per cent on their tax bill, the city stated in a news release.

After the initial review of the figures, the budget committee has now asked city administration to recommend changes that could allow for a tax rate reduction of 2.24 per cent. This reduction would partially offset the impact of higher assessed values within the community as a result of the re assessment that was completed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) in 2008. The MPAC re-assessment saw increases in property values that will be phased in over four years (approximately four per cent per year). As such, a 2.24 per cent decrease in the tax rate would translate into a 1.7 per cent increase in average taxes paid.

"The budget process is just beginning, and there are a number of complex factors that have to be accounted for - for example, cutting expenses in one area may also result in cuts in revenues from the province," said city CAO Paul Fitzpatrick. "All city managers are committed to the common goal of finding every efficiency in their departmental operations."

The budget steering committee will meet again on February 4 to review proposed recommendations presented by administration.

Anyone with questions or comments about the 2011 budget can contact the city by email at budget@cornwall.ca.


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