Potential tax increase would be minimal: Pitts

GUYSBOROUGH: Officials with the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) have started their deliberations to table their upcoming budget.

Warden Vernon Pitts noted that in the past number of years, the municipality has taken a $3-million loss in commercial property taxes, predominantly due to the decommissioning of the Sable Offshore Energy Project.

Following the regular monthly council meeting on Feb. 17, Pitts advised that despite a multimillion hit to their revenues, things are going according to the municipality’s five-year plan.

“We have a plan in place, I believe we’re starting into year number four,” he said. “Things are working out well, as long as we stick to the plan, I think we’re going to weather this alright.”

Pitts suggested the municipality wouldn’t be putting forward any major tax increases as part of their 2021-22 budget.

“I anticipate perhaps maybe a very minimal increase,” he said.

District 8 (Canso-Tickle) Councillor Fin Armsworthy voiced his opposition, as he has in previous years, to any potential increase to the municipality’s tax rates.

Despite a minimal increase to their tax rates, the warden explained the municipality’s residents would still be paying the lowest tax rates across Nova Scotia.

“We’re not looking at any major tax increases or anything going forward,” Pitts said. “We just went through our preliminary budget meeting planning session a number of weeks ago.”

Council hopes their budget will be approved during March’s regular council meeting next month, or sometime soon thereafter.