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Praise and concerns about a new plan were reviewed last night.

             The City of Flin Flon has proposed a Special Services Plan for fire and police services in 2014.  A per parcel rate of $550.40 will be levied on all rateable property and removed from general tax rolls to spread the cost of these services evenly among users.

              Mayor George Fontaine told a Municipal Board hearing last night the city is losing population, has aging infrastructure as well as heavy debt due to provincially mandated sewer and water treatment plants.  He said the plan will allow for a mill rate increase without adversely affecting only the top 30 percent of taxpayers who already pay 50 percent of total taxes.  He said there’s little incentive for people to stay or move here when the top end tax payer in surrounding areas that use our services pays less than half the taxes we pay.

              Aside from personal property questions, concerns raised by citizens were mainly on the negative effect of increased costs and taxes on low income earners as well as trying to maintain existing services with a lower tax base, how to get outside residents to share the cost of services they use, criticism of the province for forcing costs on the city and not allowing a minimum tax and praise for Council for trying ideas we should support to maintain our community.

              The Board says they can approve, reject or change the plan and hopefully can have a decision in about 30 days.

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