Mono approves $10.3M budget with 0.6% tax cut

February 18, 2015   ·   0 Comments

Mono Council has passed a budget for 2015 that will see most of the town’s homeowners enjoying a tiny tax decrease.

At a council meeting Tuesday morning, town staff submitted an updated budget based on changes made in previous meetings to council members, who could choose to accept it or seek further changes.

During the ensuing discussion the only concern raised was over spending for councillors’ education.

Councillor Ralph Manktelow said his concern was two-fold: that the budget item was the same as it was for the final year of the previous council, and that council has already spent $3,300, despite the budget for education and training having been set at just $3,000.

“The first year of council, especially when there are new councillors, is a time of education and enlightenment,” he said. “To me, it doesn’t make sense that the first-year training budget is the same as the last year. We improve by working at things and going to various sessions. It is an accepted way of learning to take in teaching sessions.”

In the first year of the previous four-year term, $5200 was spent between the various councillors for training and education programs.

Councillor Manktelow recommended changing the budget item to $8000 to provide more opportunities, but Councillor Fred Nix suggested changing the amount at this point in time would set back the balance of the budget, resulting in a longer process.

“We have the numbers nicely balanced now, and if we change one part we upset the whole amount,” said Councillor Nix. “If someone wants to increase one item, I think they should need to suggest which item that decrease should come from.”

He added that he is on board with the need for training and education, but at this point in the discussion it was too late to deal with that.

“I think that we’ve done it already, and we have to thank Les [Halucha], because he’s helped us develop a good budget,” he said. “We have kept our tax rate the lowest in Dufferin County.”

The issue was resolved however, when Town CAO Keith McNenly pointed out that there is an additional $5500 available for expenses, some of which could be applied to training without changing any numbers.

In order to reach that budget amount they were voting on, Council had previously elected to decrease their phased-in salary increase from $84,200 to $80,630, in addition to reducing items like board expenses.

The potential of council voting to pass the budget at Tuesday’s meeting had been advertised by Mr. Halucha, but there was no public input regarding the numbers at the meeting.

The budget passed unanimously, at a total of $10,341,053, down from $11,208,576 actually spent in 2014 but up slightly from the sum budgeted for last year.

Although the total taxes to be levied will be up 2.8 per cent, growth in the community means there will be a decrease of 0.6 per cent in the town’s portion of the average Mono homeowner’s property tax bill.

Mr. Halucha said Wednesday the town’s share of Mono property tax bills works out to $406.73 per $100,000 of assessment, down from $406.99 last year.

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