SCUGOG: Scugog council has set a target of a total 3.9 per cent tax increase for the 2018 budget.

At a meeting on Monday, October 23rd, councillors saw a report from treasurer Dianne Valentim, which recommended an increase of 1.5 per cent, plus 0.4 per cent to help offset the impact of a $1.7 million debenture from the Region of Durham for the Scugog Line 6 project, as well as to lessen the impact of minimum wage increases due to Bill 148, and a special 2 per cent roads and infrastructure levy.

However, these numbers did not sit well with Ward 5 Councillor, Jennifer Back.

“If rate of inflation is 1.5 [per cent] currently, and it looks like that is what it is going to be for 2017, we have a proposed 1.5, plus 0.4, which is 1.9, which is already higher than the rate of inflation, then an additional 2 per cent makes it 3.9 and that’s more than double the rate of inflation. I know you can say, ‘no it’s the base’, but when people have to write the cheque, it’s the total and 3.9 is double the rate of inflation,” she said. “I understand all the stresses on our budget, but you have to understand the stresses on our community as well.”

She also said she had a “huge problem” with the 2 per cent road and infrastructure levy.

“To say that 33 per cent [of township budget survey respondents] said that they would be willing [to have] an increase in the road levy, that means 67 per cent said no and to me that is the majority,” Councillor Back said.