Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Where do my taxes go now? Where will they go with a Rural Community?  


In a recent blog post (scroll down to find it), we talked about taxes in the current LSD structure throughout the YRC Project area. In this post we will talk about how taxes would be affected by the formation of a Rural Community. Here is what is being proposed:

Service to Proposed YRC Residents
Would Be Provided By:
1. Governance
YRC Council
2. Policing
3. Emergency Measures Plan
YRC Council
4. Fire Protection
DELG (via several fire departments)
5. Dog Control
6. Street Lights (in Oswald Gray Subdivision and on Carlisle Rd)
NB Power
7. Land Use Planning
YRC Council / RSC 11
8. Recreation
DELG + Rec Councils
9. Disposal  and Garbage Collection and Recycling
RSC 11 and private contractors
10. Road Summer /Winter Maintenance
Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DTI)
11. Road Capital Upgrades

In the LSD model all rates are set by the provincial government but in a Rural Community model they would be set by elected residents who serve on the Council. 

An LSD does not have a bank account but a Rural Community does meaning that the Council can save funds for future planning, emergency situations, etc.  within the Rural Community.  Any unspent budget in a LSD is returned to the government.

A common misconception is that a Rural Community requires a single blended tax rate. The truth is that for the York Rural Community Project, it is being proposed to maintain the existing tax areas so that residents continue to pay taxes only for the services that they receive.  There are 8 different LSD tax rates in the proposed YRC Project area ranging from $0.4030 to $0.5821 per $100 of assessment.  

And what about the cost for administration of the Rural Community?  Initial estimates for the proposed YRC add an estimated $0.015 to cover that cost.  On a $200,000 house the estimated increase represents approximately $30 annually. The cost of the existing services is assumed to remain the same but will be evaluated for cost savings as the feasibility study progresses.  The preliminary feasibility study report for the YRC Project will be released on June 30, 2017.

If you have any comments concerns or questions about the cost of about tax rates being proposed for the YRC Project area, please send them to the YRC Project steering committee at yorkruralcommunity@gmail.com.  

Monday, 22 May 2017

Considering Possibilities for the YRC Wards and Council

Doulgas, Bright and Keswick Ridge LSDs (in distance) from Kingsclear LSD (Daryl Hunter photo)

The members of the YRC Project steering committee have recently participated in a workshop about how wards and councils could be set up in a new local government. The workshop taught us many things that we will need to know as we prepare options to include in the Project's preliminary feasibility study report. For example, we learned that:

- The ward system divides a local government area into separate sections represented, most commonly, by a single councillor. Most people believe that a ward system is a way to have clear accountability and representation. 

- Determining the number of wards and their locations is usually based on population, geography, community history, community interests and minority representation.  

- There is no standard definition of a ward but the Supreme Court of Canada has recommended that a ward should:

1.Distribute the population and electors as equally as possible.  

2.Respect identifiable communities of interest. 

3.Use natural, physical boundaries that are locally recognized.

4.Serve the larger public interest of all electors of the municipality rather than the interest of a small group.

Residents of the YRC Project area are encouraged to send their concerns, suggestions or advice about wards to the YRC Project steering committee at yorkruralcommunity@gmail.com.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Where do my taxes go now? Where will they go with a Rural Community?
This is a big topic so we'll first talk about where taxes go now in the LSD model of local services delivery. In an upcoming post we will discuss the RC aspect.

Current tax rates consist of Provincial services (Road maintenance) + SNB services (assessment) + LSD local services (Administration, rural planning, fire protection, policing, dog control, recreation, solid waste, etc).

At this time, there are 8 different LSD tax rates in the proposed YRC Project area ranging from $0.4030 to $0.5821. Combined with taxes that cover the cost of GNB services ($0.4115) and of SNB services ($0.0194), that gives a range of total tax rates in the YRC Project area of $0.8389 to $1.0130 per $100 of assessment.

In the LSD model of local services delivery, all rates are set by the provincial government. Decisions on the LSD portion are made by the Department of Environment and Local Government with no guarantee residents will have input on the decision. An LSD does not have a bank account and cannot save funds from year to year.

For more information please see:


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

From Above...Unique View of Keswick Ridge 
Photo submitted by Tom Beckley  

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

"This River is a vital part of all communities..."

In 1979 the dream of Burris Coburn was fulfilled.   He wanted a roadside market and property in Island View was the selected site with the Trans-Canada Highway passing by.  The Coburn Farm was on Keswick Ridge.  Many friends were made during the 19 years.  Neighbours worked for us and also watched the property when we were closed. To this day we still have our friends tell us they wished we were still in business.    

We started out with produce, dairy and bakery products and ice cream and grew to include year round Christmas Centre, greenhouse and distributor of Vesey Seeds.  We were known for the large ice cream cones.

Coburn’s Garden Patch, known as the Big Apple to some and The Patch to others served the surrounding communities, which are included in the proposed area of the York Rural Community.  Yes the St. John River separates the South from the North but this River is a vital part of all communities.  It is beautiful but also a wonderful playground for summer and winter activities.  

I am looking forward to the benefits of being a Rural Community.  The gas tax dollars will be appreciated with improvements to recreation, warming facilities possibly.    Listen to the video clip of Doug Munn, mayor of Miramachi Rural Community, they have put their gas tax dollars to great use and we could as well when we form a Rural Community.

 Jean Coburn

Coburn's Garden Patch - Island View, Kingsclear LSD
(photo submitted by Jean Coburn)

Comment from Douglas LSD resident on results of plebiscite vote...

Please post the following to your blog on my behalf as I do not have a computer or internet service where I live in my LSD. 

The following article from the Times Transcript clearly shows that there are some communities that see past the propaganda put forth by DELG and the YRC Project Steering Committee, not everyone drinks the cool-aid.

Frank LeBlanc
Tay Creek NB

Acadian Peninsula residents overwhelmingly reject amalgamation
  • Times & Transcript
  • Tue May 16 2017
  • Page: A4
Voters in the Acadian Peninsula have overwhelmingly rejected amalgamation of their communities.

Voters in 10 local service districts in the Lameque-Miscou region on the Acadian Peninsula voted in the plebiscite on Monday to decide whether to merge with two neighbouring communities to form a new rural community.

A total of 1,600 ballots were cast against amalgamation, with 725 cast in favour of the move.
The communities in the plebiscite included: Cap-Bateau, Coteau Road, Haut-Lamèque, Miscou Island, Ste-Cecile, Petite-Lamèque, Pigeon Hill, Pointe-Alexandre, Pointe-Canot, the parish of Shippagan, the village of Sainte-Marie-Saint-Raphaël and the Town of Lamèque.

Voter turnout was 74 per cent, according to the Elections New Brunswick website.