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Winnipeg Beach presents steady budget

Juliet Kadzviti/The Interlake Spectator

The Town of Winnipeg Beach presented its financial plan for 2017 in April, highlighting a slight increase to municipal taxes.

The town’s general mill rate is 15.121 for 2017, slightly up from 14.895 last year. This represents an increase of 0.226 mills.

“In order to maintain the budget we had to look at the cost of living increase, which impacted the increase in taxes,” Mayor Tony Pimentel said.
“I was happy with council for sticking to that small increase. We have been pretty good with our finances and reserves this year.”

The town’s budgeted revenue for 2017 tops $2.74 million, compared to $2.36 million last year. Of this amount, $1.68 million will come from municipal taxes.
Top expenses for the town include government services for $440,000, transportation services for $577,000 and fiscal (debt) services for $619, 355.

Pimentel said the town dipped into its reserve fund to buy a much-needed piece of equipment.
“We just purchased an excavator for just over $100,000, which was completed funded by our reserves,” he said.

 “We have been actively utilizing some of that reserve money, so that we can avoid re-taxing the taxpayer for new items this year,” Pimentel added.

Other budgeted capital expenditures for 2017 include a ride-on mower for $13,500, upgrades to the community centre for $23,300 and road reconstruction for $185,507.

 In 2018, the town plans to invest in a truck mounted sander for $8,000, road repairs for $120,000 and sidewalks for 10,000.

Pimentel noted some taxpayers could have a slightly higher tax bill because of government-mandated improvements to the town’s lagoon.

“Some taxpayers may see an increase in their bottomline tax bill, because of the lagoon upgrade tax, which will be spread over the next ten years, but most people are already aware of this increase,” he said.

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