SHELBURNE, N.S. – The Town of Shelburne has approved an operating budget of $5.03 million for the 2018/19 fiscal year, maintaining the residential tax rate of $2.04 per $100 of assessment and commercial tax rate of $3.86 per $100 of assessment.
The budget was approved at the April 4 council session.
“In setting the operating budget the town council has to confront numerous financial pressures and balance competing priorities while remaining conscious of residents’ ability to pay,” stated a press release.
Residents and businesses will be paying an additional $21 per unit for sewer charges (from $219 to $240) to finance upgrades to the treatment plant taking place this year. Solid waste charges are also increasing, based on actual costs, to $251.68 per unit. To reduce the impact of these service charge increases council has also approved an increase in the low-income tax exemption program which will now provide graduated tax relief ranging from $152.93 to $611.73 to qualifying tax payers with household incomes under $34,464.
Key investments and the continued implementation of the Shelburne Town Council Strategic Plan 2017-21 is included in this year’s budget. Highlights include significant investments in economic development and tourism; a new façade program for the downtown, supported by the Town’s new Commercial Development Support Program which provides tax rebates to businesses renovating or developing eligible commercial properties; continued investment in trails, parks, playgrounds and other recreational properties; additional art projects supported by the Town’s public art fund (overseen by the town’s Community Participation and Volunteerism Committee) and a continuing commitment to the Guild Hall Summer Arts series of free public performances throughout the summer season.
The budget also calls for continued support for public housing and day care services for town residents; up to $45,000 as needed to support the Shelburne County Arena Association with the purchase of a new Zamboni, to be matched by the Municipality of the District of Shelburne; and a new resident attraction campaign that will complement existing marketing initiatives with efforts to target potential new residents and entrepreneurs.
The town will also continue its’ focus on service delivery and asset management, with the establishment of a new Asset Management Advisory Committee comprised of Council, staff and public members. The budget also calls for the implementation of Council’s Economic Development Strategic Action Plan, Tourism Strategic Action Plan 2017, and Events Strategic Plan 2018-2021.
“We’re very pleased with the operating budget,” said Mayor Karen Mattatall. “We’re pleased it contains some pretty significant things that we think will continue to make Shelburne attractive to new residents and businesses.”