ANTIGONISH: The county’s tax rates are staying the same.

Last week, council for the Municipality of the County of Antigonish announced its budget and tax rates for the current fiscal year. The residential rate stays at $0.88 per $100 of assessment and the residential rates remain unchanged at $1.46 per $100 of assessment, keeping it at the lowest commercial rate in Nova Scotia.

Warden Owen McCarron said the residential rate is among the bottom third of the province’s municipalities, noting council is proud to keep the rates where they were.

“A lot of work goes into preparing the budget, there are lots of requests, but it’s important to demonstrate to the public that we’re able to maintain the rates and still provide a high level of service,” said McCarron. “There’s been a few increases in assessment in residential and little bit of a decrease in commercial so we’re fortunate that we’re able to come in on budget with just a slight surplus at the end of the year but to maintain the rate certainly sends a good message to the public.”

The operating budget for the county is $14,654,557.

McCarron said council feels they made a good balance of responses to community requests for funding this year, noting the requests increased both in terms of how many were made and also how much money was involved.

The warden also said he feels the county is in solid financial shape.

“We continue to do projects, we look for cost sharing on different projects with the other levels of government but we also have the ability to borrow from ourselves sometimes and that’s a very good position to be in and it’s a position we don’t take lightly and we want to make sure we maintain that so we remain strong financially,” he added.