(Antigonish, Nova Scotia) On Wednesday, May 29, 2024, Municipal Council approved its $19,969,391, 2024/25 Municipal Operating Budget. Municipal Council approved the budget with a three cent decrease in the residential and resources rates, and a one cent decrease in the commercial rate. There are no changes to the sewer rate.

Warden Owen McCarron stated “The Municipality has been a strong financial steward for many years, demonstrated by our ability to invest in municipal operations and infrastructure, pay down debt, and maintain one of the most competitive tax rates in the province, both residential and commercial. Council was please to be able to provide some tax relief to our residents in this budget.”

Some of the major expenses included in this year’s budget include mandatory contributions to education which accounts for 22.1% of the budget and protective services which accounts for 20.8% of the budget. Like all municipalities, Antigonish County has and is experiencing upward pressure on its expenses as prices continue to climb. Assessment growth and mitigating measures have allowed the County to continue to invest in the community while maintaining service levels and lower rates.

Highlights of the budget include:
• The residential rate has been reduced from $0.88 to $0.85 per $100 of assessment. This is among the lowest rates in Nova Scotia.
•The commercial rate has been reduced from $1.44 to $1.43 per $100 of assessment. The Municipality remains the lowest commercial tax jurisdiction in the Province of Nova Scotia.
•Residential municipal sewer rates will remain at $316.29/unit.
•Interest rate is 6% per annum.

Key Initiative include:
•Low Income Property Tax Exemption has been set so that households earning less than $36,000 can receive up to $300 toward their property taxes.
•Council has approved approximately $605,000 in grants and contributions to support various community groups and projects.
•Continued support of the People’s Place Library, Antigonish Arena, Antigonish Heritage Museum, Antigonish Affordable Housing, lifeguard services at Bayfield Beach, St. Martha’s Hospital Foundation, Strait Area Search & Rescue and Beaver Mountain Park among other community facilities and services.

The following infrastructure projects have also been approved:
Repaving of Appleseed Drive from D MacIsaac Road to Market Street.
Construction of curb and gutter on Keating Court.
Solar PV installations and energy efficiency upgrades at nine community centres through the Net-Zero Community Buildings project.
Ongoing construction of the Active Transportation Corridor along Trunk 4.
Construction of the Scotiabank Mini Pitch on Appleseed Drive.
Exterior upgrades to the County Court House on Main Street, Antigonish.
Construction of the St. Josephs Water Tower.

Tax-bills will be in the mail in the first week of June and are due on June 28, 2024.


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