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Changes coming to paying for emergency services

By Sabrina A. MacDonald [1]

BELLEVILLE – Members of city council are reviewing who pays what for emergency services in the city. 

Belleville City Hall held a special council meeting Monday to discuss the issue. 

Urban residents currently pay $230 more on taxes (based on a $200,000 home) for fire services, and $350 for police services every year than rural residents in Belleville do.

In some cases, the rural residents pay less but get the same service that urban taxpayers do.

“Police is a core service in my opinion and everyone should pay the same. As for fire services, there are people who do not get these services, so they pay less,” said Councillor Jack Miller. 

This change would affect areas of Ward Two and industrial areas in Belleville.

“Hopefully you’ll never need police, or hopefully your house is never on fire, but it’s there when needed. Nobody wants taxes raised, and we have to do what’s fair for everyone. Although, the decision has to be based on both fairness and equity,” said Miller.

There will be a report presented to council by September, with possible changes coming in 2018.

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