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Woolwich approves 2 per cent tax increase

Gail Martin
Independent Editor

Woolwich councillors have approved an overall 2 per cent tax increase for 2013, with 0.5 per cent of that set aside for future infrastructure needs.
The budget was approved at the Feb. 19 committee-of-the-whole meeting, albeit not without protest.
Woolwich councillor Mark Bauman again objected to the amount set aside for the infrastructure levy, saying it is not enough.
“I think we’re robbing future generations by keeping it so low,” said Bauman.
He said he had been told that this low infrastructure levy for 2013 is, in part, because it’s been a “difficult year.”
“In 13 years I’ve been on council, it’s always been a difficult year,” said Bauman. “We are borrowing from our grandchildren to pay for our infrastructure.”
Mayor Todd Cowan acknowledged Bauman’s concerns, but noted that the township is currently looking at “other options” to deal with the infrastructure deficit, including the potential casino for the township.
The 0.5 per cent increase will set aside approximately $35,000 for the township’s infrastructure needs. The township is facing a $63 million infrastructure deficit.
Councillors voted in favour of the 2013 budget, with Bauman voting against the infrastructure levy.
The 2 per cent tax increase will mean a $12.68 increase to an average residence, assessed at $269,000.
Councillors also approved increases to water and wastewater rates, at 5.88 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively. These increases are largely influenced by the rate increase imposed by the Region of Waterloo. Woolwich’s increases are less than the rate increases set by the region.

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