After much debate, St.Thomas council passed the 2013 operating budget Monday evening, making a few minor changes to what was presented by the treasury department. Council decreased the amount of new taxes from a recommended 2.9% or $65. increse, to a municipal tax increase of 2.5% or about $38. for a home asssessed at $150,000. Treasurer Bill Day says council was able to keep the tax rate low, while still maintaining a service and current reserve levels.
Day says St.Thomas does tend to keep lower reserve funds when compared to a number of other Southern Ontario single tier municipalities. He says the city has a reserve percentage of about 26.9% while others tend to have 34.3%. He did say however the city has vastly improved upon its reserves since 2004 when levels were at 8.9%. Day also said in comparison to other similar muncipalities, St.Thomas' municipal tax rate is considered low as is the cities debt level.