WHAT IS A LOCAL SERVICE DISTRICT?• A local service district or LSD is managed by the provincial government.• It may have a volunteer advisory committee or not. The advisory committeehas no authority over the community and no responsibility for thecommunity.• The provincial minister of local government has final say on all rules,regulations and tax rates in an LSD. Provincial employees administer thecommunity on behalf of the minister.• Community zoning is done through a rural plan that is administered by theRegional Service Commission.
HOW PROPERTY TAXES WORKResidential property taxes are based on two things:1) Assessed value of the property. This is controlled by the province.2) The tax rate. In an LSD, this is entirely controlled by the province. It is expressedas cents charged per $100 of assessed value. Our current rate is 83 cents.3) Example:A home assessed at $100,000 pays $830 in property taxes in 2013.
THE TAX RATE IN OUR COMMUNITY1) Our tax rate is 83 cents per $1002) The portion for local services such as garbagecollection and fire protection is 25.16 cents of the 83cents.3) The provincial portion is 57.84 cents
AVERAGE TAXES IN OUR COMMUNITYYear Average Assessed Value Average Tax Bill2011 $131,464 $11712012 $145,597 $12722013 $165,424 $1448The average homeowner in our community is paying about 23% more inproperty taxes in 2013 than in 2011.
THE LSD BUDGETService CostAdministration $19,448Rural Planning $64,624Cost of Assessment $47,627Fire Protection $173,939Police Services $110,924Dog Control $7,862Recreation $1,400Solid Waste $233,310Total $659,134
CURRENT STATE OF RUSAGONIS-WAASIS LSDPopulation2011 3,318 residents2006 2,747 residents20.8% growthProperty value2012: $245 million.2007: $136 million80% growth in five years.With a population of more than 3,000 residents and a property tax basegreater than $200 million dollars Rusagonis-Waasis has sufficient humanand fiscal capacity to establish a viable Rural Community.
FUTURE CHALLENGES FOR OUR COMMUNITY• We are one of the fastest growing communities in the province• The value of properties in our community is rising rapidly, makingus an attractive target for other cash-strapped municipalities.• Over the past five years, the provincial government has becomeconcerned about the sustainability of local government. This ledto studies such as the Finn Report, which recommended webecome part of a regional municipality based around Oromocto.
WHAT IS A RURAL COMMUNITY?• Is a form of municipal government• Has a locally elected mayor and council• The authority to own land, buildings, infrastructure andequipment.• Better access to federal and provincial funding programs, andauthority to borrow for capital projects.• Puts community decisions in the hands of community members• Has oversight over land use planning and zoning
TIMELINE• Informal discussions began in 2011• Worked with the province to learn more about the model• A volunteer group known as the steering committee met over thecourse of two years to discuss the benefits and costs of a ruralcommunity• A preliminary feasibility study was requested in spring 2012.• The study began in spring 2013 and completed in June 2013• Widespread community discussion on the concept begin inSpring / Summer 2013.
ABOUT THE PROPOSED RURAL COMMUNITY• The entire LSD of Rusagonis-Waasis and a small portion of the LSD ofGladstone that is accessed through Rusagonis-Waasis, would togetherform the Rural Community.• The name of the Rural Community would be Rusagonis-Waasis, butexisting civic/postal addresses and community names would not change.• The council would consist of a mayor and four councilors. Mayor would beelected by the entire community, councilors would be elected according toa ward system.
WHAT SERVICES WOULD THE RURALCOMMUNITY PROVIDE?• Land-use planning• Emergency measures• Recreation and Community Services• Administration
WHAT SERVICES WOULD THE PROVINCECONTINUE TO PROVIDE?• Police and fire protection• Garbage• Roads• Animal Control
WHAT WOULD A RURAL COMMUNITY COST?• The cost of forming a rural community is approximately$102,460.• This equals an increase of 1.15 cents per $100 of assessedvalue for a residential homeowner.
IMPACT ON PROPERTY TAXESProperty type 2013Tax Rate2013Tax Bill2014 Impact 2015ImpactResidential(Owner-Occupied)$.83 $830 +$11 -$18Residential(Non-Owner-Occupied)$1.65 $1,651 +$6 -$23OtherResidential(Farms,Woodlots)$1.65 $1,651 +$6 -$23Business $2.48 $2,480 +$17 -$26*Tax bill value and impact based on a home valued at$100,000
NEXT STEPS• Community-wide consultation and discussion on the feasibility of a ruralcommunity. June to August 2013• Gauge community interest in the concept and decide whether there is sufficientinterest to hold a community-wide vote (plebiscite). August 2013• If there is sufficient interest, request a plebiscite is held in October 2013• If a majority of voters support the rural community concept, it would come intoeffect on July 1, 2014.• Municipal elections for mayor and council would be help in May 2014.
POTENTIAL ADVANTAGES• Have a greater say over development so that we can preserve our unique, ruralway of life.• Work with developers to set aside land for future community use such as parks,playgrounds or green space.• Protect and support resources that have been built by volunteer efforts in thecommunity• Demonstrate the capacity for local governance and shows that there is no need orrequirement to merge our community with anyone else.
POTENTIAL DISADVANTAGES• There is a small start-up cost to pay for the administration of a rural community.• Can be sued.• A rural community council can own land, buildings and can take on debt.• Has the authority to institute by-laws that can affect community members.