Letters to the Editor

Holyrood budget was a triple whammy for some residents

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

I am a former councillor and deputy mayor in the town of Holyrood. This experience has given me an in depth understanding of the inner workings of this beautiful municipality.

To say the least, I am very disappointed with the first budget of this new council. It seems every single tax, fee etcetera, was increased. I compliment Councillor Bruce King for voting against the budget.

This is a very difficult time for Holyrood residents, many of whom are seniors on fixed incomes.  Inflation is soaring, interest rates are rising, the Consumer Price Index is off the charts and prices for everything including food, clothing, fuel, heating and other essentials are at an all time high.

Many Holyrood residents were dealt a triple whammy of tax increases in the 2023 Budget. The appraised value of property in Holyrood increased significantly in 2023. The appraised value of my home and property increased by 16.7 per cent. This means property taxes increased even before an increase in the mill rate. Secondly, council decided to increase the mill rate by 0.5 mills which resulted in a second increase. Thirdly, those residents who have water and/or sewer got an increase of 10 per cent on those fees. Combine those three increases and you have a hefty increase in residential taxes.

I know that council has an aggressive plan for growth and development, but they have to live within their means. I believe the decision of council to raise the mill rate and increase water and sewer fees was very imprudent at this time. Residents and businesses can only afford to pay so much. The reality is we have a very small population, limited business base and a huge geography which is very costly to service. We need more residents and businesses to help carry the load and imposing higher taxes and fees may actually be counterproductive and result in less development and growth.

I strongly suggest that council revisit the decision regarding tax and fee increases for 2023.

Please present this letter at the next meeting of council.

If any member of council would like to discuss my views on the budget, give me a call at 728 – 8630 at any time.


Gus Hawco, Holyrood

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