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Bridgewater approves 2019-20 budget

No tax rate increase, more money for paving renewal, and funding for permanent transit among key items

The Town of Bridgewater concluded the 2019-20 budget process on Monday night by officially approving the budget document and setting the tax rate for the coming fiscal year, which will remain the same.

The residential rate is set at $1.65 per $100 of assessment for an eighth-straight year, while the commercial tax rate will remain at $3.97 per $100 of assessment. The only changes in both the residential and commercial tax rates since 2010-11 have been decreases.

The Town will spend approximately $20.3 million next year on operations and $4.3 million on capital projects, making many key investments to further enable growth and improved quality of life in the community.

“Despite the pressures of a growing town, increased downloading of costs, and infrastructure challenges, the only changes to the Town of Bridgewater’s residential and commercial tax rates during the last nine years have been decreases,” said Mayor David Mitchell.

“This year, Town Council also added public transit as a core, permanent service to Bridgewater and increased our pavement renewal budget by approximately 50 per cent, and yet, despite all this, we were once again able to produce and pass a budget with no tax rate increase to our residents and businesses,” he explained. “This is a testament to the hard work of our staff and the direction Council is taking our community.”

Town Council, he added, will continue to advocate for changes to the funding models that see Bridgewater’s taxpayers saddled with an artificially high tax rate resulting from subsidization of roads and policing services outside the community.

“We strive to seek a fair balance across Nova Scotia that will benefit the province as a whole,” he said.

“We will continue to push for changes in how funds from other levels of government are allocated to ensure fair and equitable funding, and a realization that our taxpayers are artificially subsidizing lower tax rates outside towns and cities in Nova Scotia.”

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