Budget spotlight #3 – where does your money go?  

Mayor Christa Lowry

In this Budget Spotlight, I’m going to review

  1. Where your tax dollars go
  2. What you get from the Municipal portion of your taxes.
WHERE YOUR TAX DOLLARS GO

Mississippi Mills is the tax collector for Lanark County and for the Schools.  Whether the taxpayer pays their bill or not, the Municipality must pay the full amount owed to the County, to the Schools and to the OPP.   Over half the taxes on your bill from the municipality actually go somewhere else. Your property tax bill from Mississippi Mills is actually 4 or 5 bills in one!

It includes:

  1. Mississippi Mills Taxes + OPP Contract
  2. Mississippi Mills Waste Management Fee (Garbage, recycling, etc)
  3. Lanark County Taxes
  4. School Taxes

In 2019, the average home in Mississippi Mills was assessed at $345,000.  The average residential taxes for that home was $3,635.10.  If we break down this average tax bill, we can see what part of your taxes goes to the County and to the School Boards and what portion remains in Mississippi Mills.

Lanark County $1228.67
Education $672.49
OPP Contract in Mississippi Mills $312.62
Municipality of Mississippi Mills $1421.32
 

AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL TAXES

TOTAL

 

$3635.10

WHAT DO YOU GET FROM THE MUNICIPAL PORTION OF YOUR TAXES?

Like all municipalities, Mississippi Mills provides multiple services to our residents.   These services are managed by departments, such as Public Works, Recreation and Daycare, to provide the quality programs and services that the community enjoys day to day.   The Municipality has over 100 staff including full time, part time, seasonal, casual and students that make it all happen.

Partial List of Municipal Services

  • Fire Protection
  • Emergency Management
  • Childcare programs
  • Library services and programs
  • Animal Control
  • By-Law enforcement
  • Recreational Programs such as hockey, soccer and swimming.
  • Facility and park maintenance
  • Community events such as Light Up the Night, Santa Claus Parades, Pakenham Fall Fair, Movies in the Park, Canada Day programs
  • Museum support
  • Youth centre support
  • Promotion of Mississippi Mills
  • Beautification activities such as flowers in the summer
  • Winter operations and control (snow plowing, snow removal, application of sand/salt)
  • Bridge and culvert maintenance
  • Drainage and flood control
  • Roadside grass mowing, brushing, tree trimming and removal, ditching
  • Debris and litter pickup
  • Curb and sidewalk maintenance
  • Road patching and sweeping
  • Shoulder maintenance
  • Grading and dust suppression
  • Gravel resurfacing
  • Street lighting, traffic signs and line painting
  • Contribution to the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority
  • Administration of the municipality including tax and water billings

Other fees for service on your municipal bill include waste management for all properties in Mississippi Mills as well as water and sewer for those residents in Almonte Ward. These services are not paid for by property taxes. They are separate fees.

Council also has a responsibility to provide wise stewardship of all municipally owned assets and to make the best use of public funds when making decisions about our assets.    A very conservative estimate of the replacement cost of all our municipal assets is $170 million.

Partial List of Municipal Assets

  • 97 km of surface-treated roads
  • 96 km of paved roads
  • 186 km of gravel roads
  • 36 km of sidewalks and curbs
  • 15 Bridges
  • 11 Large culverts
  • 3 public works garages
  • 1 Municipal Office
  • The Almonte Old Town Hall
  • The Almonte Old Registry office
  • 2 Fire Stations (Almonte and Pakenham)
  • 12 Fire Vehicles
  • 2 Libraries (Almonte and Pakenham)
  • 1 Child Care Centre
  • 2 Arenas with ice surfaces and upper  halls (Almonte and Pakenham)
  • 1 Curling Rink
  • 1 splash pad
  • 2 skateboard parks (Almonte and Pakenham)
  • 19 parks, 10 with amenities
  • 144 acres of parkland/green space

Thank you for learning about the 2020 Draft budget and the municipal finances!  Please let us know your thoughts about current service levels in the survey attached.      Look for our next Budget Spotlight which will dive into how your tax bill is calculated and some common misconceptions — coming out the week of December 2nd!

Mayor Christa Lowry