The Town of Hay River has set this year’s mill rates, and property tax bills will be going out before the end of the month.
During their July 14 online meeting, councillors approved the mill rates, which will see all of the rates remain the same as last year, except one.
The institutional mill rate has been increased by 15 per cent.
“We have delayed levying the taxes by, it’s now two months, due to the Covid reasons,” Glenn Smith, the town’s senior administrative officer, told The Hub. “And while there was a target two per cent increase in property tax revenues in total that came out of the budgeting process, what we did not undertake was an increase to the residential, commercial and agricultural classes. The only rate class that is seeing an increase is the institutional class.”
Smith said the 15 per cent increase in the institutional mill rate will cover the targeted two per cent increase in overall revenue for the municipality.
“We’re still meeting the target that was the two per cent property tax revenue increase, which was budgeted,” he said. “And that two per cent feeds our programs that keeps pace with inflation, but it supports the cost of capital development. And right now the town is in a favourable position I’d say for investing in our capital infrastructure for both replacement and development, primarily given that we have been able to secure available federal contribution funding.”
Smith noted that the institutional mill rate will be 99 per cent paid by the GNWT, mostly for the health centre and schools.
One other change this year is the early-payment discount, which has been decreased from four per cent to two per cent.
During the July 14 meeting of council, Sam Mugford, the town’s director of finance, provided an update on when tax bills will be sent out.
Mugford said the notices will be mailed before July 31, and the town is aiming to have them in the mail this week if all goes as planned.
“Taxes will be due Sept. 30 and the end of the discount period – we’re offering a two per cent early payment discount this year – will be Aug. 31,” he said.
All mill rates are made up of a municipal mill rate, plus an education mill rate of 2.27 per cent.