The town of Annapolis Royal has been decimated by an assessment change and is now considering cutting all non-essential services.
Annapolis Royal relied heavily on taxes from Nova Scotia Power’s tidal power plant in the area. But after a recent reassessment, Annapolis Royal learned in December it would lose $580,000 of tax revenue.
That’s more than a quarter of its $2.1-million budget. How do you cut that much? Easy, according to chief administrative officer Amery Boyer. You take essential services like police and firefighters, and you cut everything else. That would include Boyer essentially needing to fire herself.
“We’ve got residents who don’t know if services are going to continue. We’ve got employees who don’t know if they’re going to have jobs,” said Boyer.
Boyer said she’s angry no one warned the town about the upcoming changes beforehand. She also said they’re further hurt because some of the Nova Scotia Power tax money in there area goes elsewhere for equalization.
“I would like to think if another municipal unit got hit like this, Annapolis Royal would be one of the first to step up to the plate and say, ‘How can we help you?’” said Boyer.
“We’re all in this together. There’s 55 municipal units. It’s inconceivable that you could cast one adrift like this and say it doesn’t matter.”