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Taxpayer offers his own thoughts on how to increase the budget increase

Updated: Jan 9



A few weeks ago my letter to the editor was published. 


Many have asked why I didn’t provide a solution as my letter mentioned. 

I really didn’t want to go down this rabbit hole but here I go.


One option to lower our tax bill. If you can remember the town was in trouble in 2014. 


They implemented a temporary solution with the approval of two special levies: capital replacement and capital reserve, these two line items appear on our property tax bills. 


They were only to be for a short period of time but our current administration believes they are now part of the base budget with no need to discuss, and this is wrong.


If the 2024 budget is approved the town will have collected approximately $11,451,175 in special levies. We just finished paying our 2023 taxes, that included special levies of $1,370,849 which will remain in a cash account collecting interest until July of next year. 


This is when finance provides the year end results and prepares a report where they tell council what the actual collection amounts were and recommends movement into special reserve accounts. 


The levies should be discontinued this year as this would provide direct relief to the taxpayers of Amherstburg. The reasons for them originally no longer exist. 


Our reserves are strong and financial ratios are fantastic. One reason they were put in place was to avoid issuing long term debt. 


Despite our town having the largest debt in the county and the Deloitte Report telling us not to have any more debt, our administration convinced council to add another $12 million to our long-term debt. We will be paying for this until 2050. 


Completely opposite to what they were attempting to get accomplished.


The elimination of these levies won’t hurt the town whatsoever but might allow a senior on a fixed income to have a coffee from Timmys once a week. 

 

—Rodger Hudson

Amherstburg

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