Brownsburg-Chatham council unanimously approved the municipality’s 2021 budget on December 8 and growth in property values means lower taxes for most residents.
The balanced budget estimates $12,969,640 in revenue and the same amount in expenses for the year ahead. The 2020 budget projected $12,773,170 each in revenue and expenses.
The 2021 will include a property tax reduction for 94 per cent of homeowners. The base tax rate is decreasing from 0.71 cents to 0.65 cents per $100 of the value of a residential property. For commercial properties, the rate in 2021 is decreasing to $1.64 per $100 of valuation from $1.83 in 2020, and for industrial properties in 2021, the rate is decreasing to $2.19 per $100 of valuation from $2.44 per $100 in 2020.
The tax rate for agricultural properties in Brownsburg-Chatham is decreasing to 60 cents per $100 of valuation in 2021. In 2020, the rate was 66 cents per $100.
The 2021 budget is the result of three years of work by the municipality to increase the tax base and reduce the tax rate.
Brownsburg-Chatham will see a 7.75 per cent decrease in the taxation rate in 2021. The service charge on municipal debt is decreasing from 2.31 per cent to 1.94 per cent and service taxes such as those for water and sewer service are being frozen in 2021.
While the budget means that 94 of Brownsburg-Chatham property owners will see a reduction in taxes, six per cent will see an increase. However, the reason for this is because these properties have increased significantly in value by an average of 78 per cent compared to 2018. For example, a property worth $1 million in 2018 is now worth $1,780,000. As a result, the taxes will increase on these properties despite the adjustment of the taxation rate approved by council.
“This 2021 budget is the result of the vision and courage of all members of council to put forward measures that will have a positive long-term effect for all citizens of Brownsburg-Chatham,” said Mayor Catherine Trickey.
Municipal Treasurer Nathalie Derouin explained some of the spending allocations that have been made in the 2021 budget. Public works will comprise 20 per cent of expenses in 2021. Eight per cent is for the cost of police services by the Sûreté du Québec, and eight per cent of the budget is for Brownsburg-Chatham’s financial contribution to the MRC d’Argenteuil. Administration will account for 25 per cent of expenses, and six per cent will be for the municipal marina and campground.
Derouin also outlined some of the major sources of municipal revenue in the budget. In 2021, 69 per cent of municipal revenue in Brownsburg-Chatham will be from property taxes. Nine per cent of revenue is projected to be from the municipal marina and campground, and four per cent from government grants.
Property values increase
Over the past three years, most municipal spending was frozen or maintained below the consumer price index but residential property values increased by 13.14 per cent. For a house valued at $200,000 in 2018, the average increase of 13.14 per cent represents an increase in its value of $26,280 in 2020. The increase of tax revenue has allowed for a reduction of the tax rate.
No members of the public attended the council meeting and there were no questions or debate among councillors before they approved the budget.