Suggestions for fix
Proposal to Fix Problem:
The intent of the following proposal is to moderate and phase in the elimination of the rural discount in such a way that overall rural taxes do not increase more than 1% per year above the historical average of 3.7%/year.
1. End the 32% rural discount on December 31, 2015. The 8.9% increase in rural overall taxes will be phased in over 4 years, if necessary using s.106 of the Municipal Act. The increase in rural taxes of 2.2%/year which would otherwise result from this will be reduced to 1%/year for 4 years by the following 4 steps.
2. Selby Twp hall will be listed and sold in the open market and proceeds applied on arena debt.
3. Napanee PUC reserve ($3.68 million) will be applied on arena debt (approx $4.15 million) immediately. (The balance of approx $470,000 will be paid off by mid-2016 even if Selby Twp hall doesn’t sell.) The reduction in spending on the arena debt of $549,000/yr will reduce taxes 5%, with the reduction possibly spread between 2016 & 2017.
4. For the remainder of this term, council resolves to cap any increases in capital & operating net levy [i.e. tax revenue] at 2% per year above that for 2015. This cap is to be further lowered by any savings resulting from payment of the arena loan. Staff will be instructed to develop a list of options to achieve this goal in 2016 to be presented to council with the initial budget papers in the fall. Council will choose from the available options as part of the budget process.
5. When the Trans-Canada generating station become fully operational, the additional revenue will not be spent but will be used to further reduce taxes.
This is just one way to do it. There are others.