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Monday, March 7, 2011

Tough Tax Talk in Kincardine

Kincardine | by John Divinski  

Council will start at three per cent tax hike and may climb from there for today's meeting.

Staff cuts, program cuts, capital spending cuts.

These words will be thrown about as Kincardine councillors get down to some budget talk, beginning Monday.

What we do know for sure is that there will be a tax increase for ratepayers.

How much that hike is remains to be seen but councillors are starting at an automatic 3 per cent increase.

Kincardine Councillor Mike Leggett says they're already looking at an 8 per cent increase in cost of living items and a 3 per cent increase in the tax rate won't even start to cover that.

In addition, the municipality is running a million and a half dollar deficit in its operating budget.

Leggett says he's resigned to the fact that there's going to be a big tax increase this year.

Meanwhile, Mayor Larry Kraemer says some difficult decisions lie ahead.

He says council either has to increase its revenue, meaning taxes and increased user pay items, or cut some programs.

Kraemer says either way, it's not going to be popular.

Several days have been set aside for budget talks.

Tonight's meeting gets underway at 4 PM at the council chamber.

Subsequent meetings will be held March 14th,  21st and March 28th if necessary.

All meetings are open to the public.


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