(File photo)

(File photo)

Town of Castor council approves interim 2022 budget

Council approves budget with no tax increase for 2022

Castor’s town council approved the 2022 interim budget during their Dec. 13, 2021, regular meeting.

Under the Municipal Government Act, municipalities are required to pass an interim budget before Jan. 1 of the year for which the budget is for, in this case 2022.

This allows the administration of the municipality to continue paying the bills until the final budget is passed, which usually occurs sometime in the spring.

Council discussed options for the 2022 budget, alternating between no increase and a one per cent tax increase.

According to chief administrative officer Christopher Robblee a one per cent increase would net the town an approximate increase of $13,000 in revenue.

Robblee also indicated that a one per cent increase would work out to in between $50 and $100 added to the tax burden for the average residence in town.

“I don’t want an increase,” said Coun. Kevin Kevin McDougall.

“I would sure like to see zero. Everything is going up.”

With costs continuing to escalate for everyone, including the municipality, other councillors felt that it would be more prudent to go with a one per cent raise now to keep from a larger one later.

“I don’t think we have a choice,” said Deputy Mayor Trudy Kilner.

“I think we also have to realize that everything is going up. If we go zero, we have to go two per cent the year after.”

During his presentation to council, Robblee did say that unless property assessments go down significantly he would be able to balance the budget with no increase this year; however, he won’t know what assessments will be until sometime in January.

Before making a final decision on the 2022 interim budget council entered a closed session to discuss budget implications surrounding payroll, matters not usually discussed in open session.

When council returned to open session, they approved the interim budget with no projected tax increase for 2022.

Additionally, the budget passed by council also included a 3.4 per cent cost-of-living increase for staff and added the previously discussed park plan to the capital budget.

If assessments come in lower than expected, council will have to revisit the possibility of a tax increase when the final budget is completed in the spring.

Coun. McDougall put forward the motion for no tax increase in the interim budget, a motion which was carried in a split vote.

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