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City council promises two years of tax relief

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Thanks to a sizeable surplus in City operations, Dauphin homeowners will be seeing some relief on the property tax bills over the next two years.
The City reconciled its books for last year and is sitting on a $936,873 surplus supported by more than $501,000 in Federal Restart grant dollars.
“City council will be using these funds to reduce taxes in 2021 and 2022, while maintaining the same level of service. It’s the desire of council to put the Federal Restart grant money totaling $501,000 into the pockets of all City of Dauphin ratepayers and reducing the municipal portion of property taxes this year and next in a reasonable and equitable way,” Mayor Allen Dowhan said during the City’s regular council meeting, Mar. 8.
Dowhan added the details of how the money will be split up have yet to be determined, but ratepayers can expect to see a reduction in 2021 and 2022.
“We’re still in the budgeting process and it will be determined during the 2021 budget deliberations which are ongoing. So I can’t give much details on the reduction, but it will be less than last year and it will be less next year, too,” he said.
“So we’ve had a very good year and we’re returning some of the surplus to the taxpayers of Dauphin. It’s very exciting news and thank you to the residents for being so patient with us and compliant with us in COVID-19. And you’ll notice a difference on your taxes in due course.”
City manager Sharla Griffiths said the Federal Restart grant was put into reserves and how much is drawn out in the next two years will be determined by operational needs.
“Right now we’re working on the 2021 budget and we’ll determine our budget needs and then basically lower it by the amount that we want to take out of reserve to reduce the amount that we need to collect in taxes,” she said.
“We’ll see how it shakes out in terms of the division.”
Griffiths expects the budget will be complete and ready for review by the public by Apr. 30.
She does not expect details of the tax reduction to be available before that time.