Dysart approves 2022 budget

By Chris Drost
Dysart et al council has approved a 3.8 per cent increase in the tax levy for 2022, meaning everyone will have to dig a little deeper. Residential properties will experience an $11.41 increase per $100,000 of assessment. This means a property assessed at $400,000 will pay $45.64 more for 2022.
The commercial rate increase will be $16.92 per $100,000 in assessment and the industrial rate will increase by $19.60 per $100,000 in assessment.
Total property taxation for the year will be $10,678,000, with expenses for the municipality totalling $18,492,000.

Additionally, the Business Improvement Area levy has been set at $45,000. The final tax levy due dates are scheduled for July 13 and Sept. 14.
Mayor Andrea Roberts inquired what information would go into the tax insert for July. Treasurer Barbara Swannell asked council to email her as soon as possible with suggestions. The insert from last year will be sent to council to help generate ideas for other things to include.

Councillor John Smith suggested that whatever education can be provided to property owners about the landfills or about contacting the roads superintendent by phone with road issues, would be helpful. He then went on to ask about the final surplus for 2021. Swannell explained that they don’t have the final numbers yet but the goal is to have it for the Committee of the Whole meeting in March.
Mayor Andrea Roberts reminded council that at the final budget meeting earlier in February, five out of seven members of council voted not to use surplus dollars from 2021 to bring down the 2022 levy.
“We are still working on policies on how we use reserves and reserve balances,” she said. “The reserve surplus from 2021 will not be given as one big number, it will be broken down by department when the numbers are given.” She explained that this does not mean they could not use the surplus for some other projects.

“I like Andrea’s idea of using that surplus for another project or something we really need,” said Councillor Walt McKechnie.
There will be further discussion at the March Committee of the Whole meeting.