At the start of this year, our newly elected council, which contains four new members, were presented a 2015 draft budget by staff requesting a 2.8% tax increase for the Municipality. Council advised staff to review and prepare a budget with an increase of no more than 2.4%. On January 12, 2015, staff presented a draft budget with an overall tax increase of 1.79% which will bring an extra $223,000 to our municipal coffers. At first glance, this seem to be a small and acceptable increase when compared to past increases, however I and many others question why any increase at this time is needed at all.
The budget proposes a staff pay increase of $85,000 (2%)and $39,000 in benefits, and in total will consume $130,000 of the $223,000 raised. We should not be opposed to good pay for our staff but over the past six years, our staff have received increases totalling 16.9% whereas taxes have increased by 50%. I suggest a freeze on salaries and benefits for one year.
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