Tax rates up in Antigonish

ANTIGONISH: The rates are in, and they are up.

During a special meeting last week, Antigonish Town Council set its operating budget and tax rates for the current fiscal year. The residential tax rate is now $1.09 per $100 of assessment and the commercial rate is now $2.61 per $100 of assessment. This brings the rates up by three cents in both cases.

Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher said even with the hike, the tax rates in the town remain lower than the majority of similarly sized municipalities.

Of the three cents raise in both cases, two cents is going toward the installation of a communications and marketing position for the town and one cent is going to StFX University to help cover the deficit of the Keating Centre and the Oland Centre.

“We’ve done many community engagements over the last couple of years,” said Boucher. “It’s been brought to our attention by the business community and our residents that one of the things that we’re not doing really well is marketing and promoting our area.”

She said the new position will also provide a communication’s strategy for the town, calling it one of the major things missing in the town over the last number of years.

As for the funding going to StFX – a total of approximately $37,600 — Boucher said while the facilities are on the university campus, they are in many ways community buildings.

“That is a very integral part of our community,” she said. “If we were to build a building like that, I don’t know if we could sustain it. They came looking for help, and we recognized that it is a community building so this is what council decided to do.”

The operating budget is $10,445,936.26.