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How much will homeowners pay this year?

Tuesday, February 04, 2014   by: Darren Taylor


Sault Ste. Marie City Council was presented with the draft 2014 municipal budget by the City Finance Department at its regular meeting Monday evening. 

The city's final budget will be decided on in April.

Preliminary budget numbers project a 2.8 percent municipal levy increase.

While the final tax rate for residential property owners in Sault Ste. Marie for 2014 will not be known until April, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Joe Fratesi told Council he anticipated the final figure will be better in comparison to figures other Northern Ontario municipalities will face this year.

More information, such as the final budget figures from the District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB) and Algoma Public Health, is needed before the City finalizes its budget.

No reductions in City services are anticipated in the budget. 

Among issues the City has to consider is a $984,300 decrease in Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) dollars for 2014.

The OMPF is the Ontario government’s main transfer payment to municipalities.

Also to be considered is a 2.4 percent increase ($2, 327, 911) for items such as contractual salary and benefit obligations for City employees.

The preliminary budget levy increase listed in the 2014 draft budget is 4.5 percent, but strong growth in the municipal tax base (1.7 percent) would reduce that total municipal levy increase to 2.8 percent.

Fratesi cautioned Council against using 2013 budget surplus money to lessen the levy, but regardless, City Council has used budget surplus money in past years for that purpose.


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Ski-Dude 2/4/2014 4:57:25 PM Report

I'm almost certain the increase will be directly proportional to the decrease in services.
sportsman 2/4/2014 5:01:59 PM Report

With everything going up seniors cant afford the increase.
northernmale 2/4/2014 5:19:56 PM Report

When is the tax increase every year going to end . Should not be to long before all seniors are homeless. Better start finding some one to build affordable sr. housing real fast
S.M.A.R.T. 2/4/2014 5:32:35 PM Report

MORE FOR LESS. The City, PUC and Canada Post motto. Just to name a few.

Cost/Benefit Equivalence? Value for Dollars Spent? Note to tax & rate payers: fuhgeddaboudit

molder2 2/4/2014 5:37:54 PM Report

We can all move to Elliot Lake...They even have a detox there...lmao
Shaggy 2/4/2014 5:38:07 PM Report

I cannot understand how year after year tax increases are higher than the yearly inflation rate - now even with a tax base increase. We are forced by reduced purchasing power to do more with less, why can't any level of government do the same?
Tills 2/4/2014 5:54:06 PM Report

My taxes have more than doubled in 17 years. Road repairs increased it another 290.00 for the next 10 years.
If your paycheck is not coming from the tax payer you are in serious trouble.
1300.then, is extreme to say the least.
I'm In 2/4/2014 5:59:27 PM Report

I smell a revolution, I am in the second year of a wage freeze
David Poluck 2/4/2014 6:01:20 PM Report

If you have an interest in answering your questions the Sault Association of Ratepayers Finance Group is in the process of setting a date next week for a get together to review the preliminary budget in order to gather questions and work with our municipal Councillors.
Get on the E mail
damzull1 2/4/2014 6:08:12 PM Report

cost of living goes up and so does the crime rate thank our loser city of sault ste marie with all those pencil neck in this city they keep driving us to poverty no wonder this stinkin town is almost dead
damzull1 2/4/2014 6:13:18 PM Report

did you think that cos the minimum wage is going up everyone would be free and clear there giving and they take it away there not stupid making poeple think that there actualy going to profit not in the life time ATTA GO CANADA YOU ROCK ...ASSH...S
FunMan 2/4/2014 6:19:18 PM Report

We finally get the Hospital paid for so foolish me I was expecting a tax decrease as Council no longer has this payment but it looks like the've spent it already and more thus the tax increase.
Javaman 2/4/2014 6:38:07 PM Report

Ask every city dept to cut 10 percent and then come back with a final tax increase. IT can be done..NO ONE HAS EVER ASK THEM TOO. They just accept whatever Joe tells them to accept.
boilertyme 2/4/2014 6:46:53 PM Report

I'm going to wait till they put a competent person in charge before I pay my taxes. Should this not be a law.
HONEST1 2/4/2014 6:48:57 PM Report

lonza 2/4/2014 7:02:46 PM Report

I would like someone to explain to me why my taxes went up $800 last year, and then why you want more.... This is absolutely stupid. The services have not been the best!!
northernmale 2/4/2014 7:04:23 PM Report

I read with interest about the PUC solution for the water.First they will spend two million to try and fix the problem. If this does not work then they will do something else for another four million and if this does not work , well guess you get it we just keep spending and up the rates. How about we just go for the four million dollar fix rite off . Save the tax payers Two million. My guess is the ones in charge of this screw up will be retired by then and don,t give a rats ass.They just have to make it on there jobs till 2017. And the tax payer can drink crap water until then.
Tag33&1/3rd 2/4/2014 7:35:43 PM Report


Lone24 2/4/2014 8:38:10 PM Report

City council feels they are not making enough for the half ass job they are doing. So the tax payers get reamed bad so that city council and their families can live high on the hog. They all need to be replaced.
Sam C 2/4/2014 9:15:09 PM Report

Anyone remember when we had ten years of a zero tax increase? Does anyone think we've caught up from that fiasco, yet?
B Boy 2/4/2014 9:26:45 PM Report

@Sam C - an entire decade of zero increase just sounds like poor planning to me.

burt 2/4/2014 9:33:58 PM Report

cut council to one per ward start cutting from the top
eadiecougs 2/4/2014 11:58:58 PM Report

burt is right on the money we dont need two period I never see the ones I have
Mark Brown 2/5/2014 1:02:37 AM Report

Hi all,

The reason so many of you are getting higher than expected increases in your tax bill is because the City uses Voodoo Mathematics to report the average residential tax increase every year.

For instance, this article states that the preliminary anticipated tax increase for the average homeowner will be 2.8%, and they get this number STARTING from the actual tax increase of $ 4.41 Million dollars which is an ACTUAL TAX INCREASE of 4.5%

So why didn't this article state that the tax increase is going to be 4.5%?

This article didn't say 4.5% because the City delivered a presentation that said that this year there will be a, "1.7% estimated assessment growth", which means that all houses when put together will rise in price 1.7% this year, according to MPAC, and because the city needs the money they will not be reducing the impact of the rise in MPAC assessment of our homes this year like they have done in previous years.

For political purposes city staff have positioned this preliminary budget summary as only being a 2.8% increase, when it is actually a 4.5% increase.

But that's not the entire story either... it will actually be a much bigger increase in our taxes because this Preliminary Budget Summary includes the assumption, on page 305 of the Budget Summary, that USER FEES collected by the city will increase by $ 1,278,000.

So either the users of hockey rinks and city stuff will be paying approximately $1.3 Million dollars MORE next year, or if those levels of user fees are not achieved next year the shortfall will have to be made up by us taxpayers.

Plus, they're NOT even going to give us back the extra $1.4 Million dollars of excess money the city will be charging us to pay towards the FULLY PAID OFF new Sault Area Hospital!?!

What's up with that?

Get ready people... your tax bill will be seeing a humongous increase this year, and it isn't going to be anywhere near 2.8% no matter what the city or the news organizations say it will be.

Keep your eyes on the real numbers people... YOUR TAX BILL... and let the media know when you get your gigantic tax increase that is nowhere near the published 2.8% increase.

Sincerely and Respectfully,
Mark Brown
dadal 2/5/2014 6:07:13 AM Report

Thank You Mark for posting that before I could! Now personally I say we need to do more trimming at City Hall, from the inside offices and out. But the unions woun't let that happen. We still see 8-10 city employees standing around a pothole while one man fills it. But just as Mr Hayes gathers a paycheck with little done for the community, our city hall is just as effective. We need the tax increase for ALL the letters/emails they send telling CN and other companies that don't care how the Soo needs them. Plus more money for city works to do patch jobs on our roads AGAIN, over used snow removal ( I've seen the sidewalk plow go by every day for the last 3 weeks even with no snow to remove ) and of course for studies of future developements that will never happen in the city. Instead of increasing OUR taxes, try concentrating on the businesses that still owe taxes for 4-6 years in arrears that the city won't push after in fears forcing them to pay will shut the businesses down, or cost them pennies in legal filings!
David Poluck 2/5/2014 6:19:36 AM Report

A hold the line on tax increase for one year would bad?

Please if you wouldn't mind explain why a 3% every year is good?

At what point does the taxation rate exceed the income levels of those that foot the bill?
Boomer4771 2/5/2014 6:44:01 AM Report

Fratesi has been goughing this city his whole career. It is time for him to take a pay cut... Dawm crook..
David Poluck 2/5/2014 6:53:02 AM Report

Really...blame it on Joe? Hardly. the finger pointing.

The truth is in the numbers...go do your homework! The ownership is all on you!
guard1 2/5/2014 7:05:35 AM Report

What gives, this weeks PUC announces higher fees to fix the water issues. Then city council announces the projected tax increase. How much more can the taxpayer take. I discussed the tax increases with my 2 ward councilers many times year after year suggesting to them to push back against these increases and I got no satisfaction from speaking to them. This year is election year and this is when my family members and I will voice our displeasure with council performance by voting against the present mayor and councillors. I hope others do the same.
Green Eggs and Ham 2/5/2014 8:25:25 AM Report

If your property increases in value you will also see an increase in your annual tax bill, so how is that a bad thing? If the taxes are increased by 2.8% (which I am also expecting more just like all of you, and it stinks) this year and you pay $3000 in taxes, that only works out to $84 more per year, only $0.23 per day, not even the cost of a cup of coffee per day!! I will keep my fingers crossed that the city sticks to the projected 2.8%!
FunMan 2/5/2014 8:42:49 AM Report

I can't believe that Council would have the gall to raise our taxes 2.3 percent with a budget that includes assessment increases and the Hospital payment reduction. My pension increased by about 1 percent on January 1st and since then my car insurance went up 4 percent and house insurance up 14 percent. PUC is going up and now the City wants to raise taxes as well.

Council better sharpen their pencils and get the budget under control .
B Boy 2/5/2014 9:10:48 AM Report

Over the last 5 years my property taxes here have been much greater my pay increases.

Karl 2/5/2014 9:20:29 AM Report

I'm moving out to the country! Gas will be cheaper then the taxes!
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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