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Lantzville councillor says tax increase will soar with spending

Lantzville’s spending is “too extravagant” this year, according to  one councillor who claims taxes could soar into the double digits.

Lantzville council opted to move forward with new budget costs last week, from $27,600 for a full-time community planner to the $50,000 second-phase of the village core improvement plan.

With the district already sitting at a four per cent tax hike this year, Coun. Denise Haime questions the need for new projects to be slated for 2014, and why more full-time staff are being hired.

Council had told the public during incorporation that it would hire out on contract as much as possible to keep the costs of administration down, but will now look at a full-time planner and year-long position for public works, she said, adding it’s not what “we promised.”

She estimates spending decisions Monday tallied $1.2 million and could bump up taxes by more than 11 per cent.

“I think this will be overwhelming to people,” she said.

The cost of spending and potential tax increase has not been confirmed by the District of Lantzville.

Jedha Holmes, Lantzville’s deputy director of financial services, stresses that the municipality is still in the middle of the budget process and there has been no talk about bumping up the tax rate.

New costs are anticipated to be covered through reserves, surplus and current taxation levels, she said.

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