It's budget season for your local municipality and Boissevain-Morton Council is in full swing in the number-crunching for 2024!

"We're working on the budget, but this is the year that we'll be transitioning to the single mill rate," shares Mayor Judy Swanson. "So, we're going to have a community meeting, we're going to have consultation, we're going to talk about the single mill rate, and how that pertains to the budget."

Council is in the process of asking the provincial government to push their budget back to give them more time as they work through the details of this transition. 

"We got word from the provincial government that next year is it," she adds. "It's the last year that we can have multiple mill rates. So, we decided earlier on that this is the year that we'll transition into the single mill rate. It is not an assessment year so everyone can see straight across how it's going to work."

Swanson says they've lobbied both the former PC and now the current NDP provincial governments why the need to change to a single mill rate when the two-mill rate works so well for the urban and rural taxation method.

"We lost the battle," says Swanson. "And so, the bottom line is either we do it our way, or it's going to be done the provincial way."

Council has agreed on special service levies to make up for the changes. 

"So, your tax bill will look a little different, especially in the rural," explains Swanson. "But if we did it straight across, if we just took the single mill rate across, the urban would benefit and the rural would not, because the land in the rural, the land value is assessed way higher than the land in the urban. So, a single mill rate just goes on assessment."

"So, in order to make it 'right' we'll do special service levies to correct that," she adds.

Mayor Swanson says balancing the budget is both a struggle and a process, "because you really do have to balance what is important, what is our core, what do we need to do, what do we have to do, what are we mandated to do, and what would we like to do."

Please listen to the full interview on this subject below with Mayor Judy Swanson.

Council expects their final budget to be complete by late spring or early summer.