Neepawa budget passes


By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

The 2018 financial plan for the Town of Neepawa has been approved.

On Tuesday, May 1, council gave second and third reading to the document, which has allocated $8,557,713.17 towards the general operating fund and $4,929,473.36 to the utility operating fund.

Compared to the 2017 budget, spending in the general fund is up slightly, by just over $155,000. A major change to the numbers comes in the utility operating fund though, as spending there is down by $7.8 million year-over-year.

The plan also included a decrease in the municipal mill rate as it will drop to 22.153 mills in 2018, down by 0.764 compared 2017. The mill rate is a figure representing the amount per $1,000 of the assessed value of the property, which is used to calculate the amount of property tax.

For the residential property owner, all those numbers simply mean they will, on average, be paying an additional $3.14 in taxes per $200,000 of their assessed property value. This proposed increase is applicable to commercial properties as well. A residential tax calculator is on the town website under the property tax tab.

Neepawa mayor Adrian de Groot said council is pleased with the results, as this is a very balanced financial plan.

“There is a balance between getting things done in the community and keeping the cost to the average ratepayer as low as possible. We’ve been able to look at efficiencies. One of the criticisms I know, when I first came to Neepawa was that Neepawa was known as a high tax community. We’ve been able to whittle away at that. We’re not giving away rebates, by any means, though there certainly are a few homeowners who will see decreases in their taxes, the way assessments work. But overall, we’re happy with the plan.”