LAKE COUNTRY – The District of Lake Country is not increasing its property tax rates this year, but most homeowners will still be paying more.
That’s because the municipality brought in a new $125 dollar levy on each property, specifically earmarked for road and transportation improvements.
“We are trying to upgrade all our rural roads to a more urban standard,” says mayor James Baker.
He explains that growth has allowed the district to keep tax rates steady this year.
“We’ve had very phenomenal growth [for the] third year in a row, which means more people paying so we don’t have to raise the [tax rate],” says Baker.
Homeowner Marvin Farkas says the new fee is not unexpected.
“They kind of gave us a warning a little while ago that the infrastructure spending was going to be coming,” he says. “Some of our roads are in pretty bad shape and it is probably a good thing. Although, it is not great that we have to pay the money for it.”
For some homeowners the assessed value of their homes has increased while the tax rate has stayed frozen. Farkas says his home’s assessed value increased by $100,000.
“The zero per cent increase is going to be offset by the increase in the assessments,” says Farkas. “We are still going to have an increase no matter what happens.”
Baker argues the district could have also increased the tax rate, but says community growth and increases in assessments are allowing the district to keep property tax rates flat.
One of the things the district plans to do with the extra transportation money this year is make it safer to get to local schools.