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.. increase, to a municipal tax increase of 2.5% or about $38 dollars for a home assessed at $150,000. Treasurer Bill Day says council was able to keep the tax rate low, while still maintaining 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 muncipalities. 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 municipalities, St.Thomas' municipal tax rate is considered low as is the cities debt level