We knew it was coming - the Town has been warning us since 2014 that Virden residents would be on the hook for the cost of the new wastewater treatment plant.
Now, the local improvement tax invoices for Phase I of the two-phase project have arrived in mailboxes, and yes, if you own property in Virden – residential or commercial – that has sewer service, you have to pay.
The amount depends on the size of meter used on your property.
Homeowners of single family dwellings and businesses with a 5/8-inch meter (the smallest size) will owe $1,100, either paid in one lump sum or 10 yearly payments of $143.81. If you choose the latter, it will be added to your property tax bill every year until 2028.
Larger commercial properties will owe anywhere from $2,200 for a 3/4-inch meter up to the maximum of $22,000 for those with the largest meter size of three inches. Those bills can also be paid in 10 annual installments plus interest.
Pain not over
Phase I cost property owners $2 million, that was the Town’s share that residents are being billed for now. (The Province paid the other $2 million.)
The price tag for Phase II will hurt our bank balances twice as much. The cost for that phase is $12 million split three ways between local, provincial and federal levels of government, says Virden Mayor Jeff McConnell.
Virden’s $4 million share of that phase means another local improvement tax bill is coming down the pike, although it’s unknown when.
Construction on Phase II began in 2017 and was recently completed.
Save the tax
Homeowners can save interest fees by paying the full amount of $1,100 by the deadline of Sept. 7, 2018.
The other option is ten annual installments of $143.81 that will automatically be added to annual property tax bills.
It means homeowners end up paying a total of $1,438.10 over ten years – almost $340 more than the one-time lump sum payment. (A similar breakdown would apply to invoiced amounts for larger properties).
There’s no mechanism to appeal the local improvement tax because any objections had to be filed with the Town when the plan was first announced and public hearings were held in 2014 and 2015.