Article by Valerie Macdonald

While Northumberland County councillors passed the $124-million 2018 budget Wednesday, Jan. 24 adding about $11 of county taxes to a median-valued county home year-over-year, there could still be changes.

Council has yet to decide if there are any tax policy changes such as those ratios between classes which could impact the tax load on residential property owners which it will do next month.

A staff report is already recommending some changes.

The final amount of taxes to be raised from property taxes is also contingent on final tax calculations once the final tax roll and assessments are received by the County.

But at this time with the passage of the budget, a county home “assessed with a median value of at $227,750” would pay about $1,080 in county taxes, according to County spokesperson Kate Campbell. (This is without the addition of education and municipal taxes.)

A total of $54.1-million is raised through the tax levy on county properties and the balance of revenue is raised through grants, user fees and paid services, which this year for the first time, will include waste management services for Alderville First Nation.

The county passed resolutions to enter into a service agreement for all waste diversion and collection during its most recent meeting with the First Nation.

The 2018 county levy increase itself is made up of a base levy increase of 1.91%, plus .3% as a dedicated infrastructure levy to build up reserves to meet the needs of major projects like rebuilding roads, bridges and the Golden Plough Lodge (which enters its design and architectural phase this year) plus the anticipated growth in county-wide assessment of 2.21% over last year.

Greater detail of the budget can be found at www.northumberlandcounty.ca/2018budget, according to a county media release.