POWELL RIVER, B.C. – Residents can expect to see a two per cent property tax increase in the 2018 budget.

City councillor and Finance Committee chair, Russell Brewer, said the two per cent increase is what he was hoping for. He noted that the budget shortfall comes out to only $122,000.

The initial draft of the budget had projected a shortfall of $637,000.

“It’s a two per cent increase for taxation for general operations and two per cent for water and sewer as well, so my objective was two per cent and the rest of the committee and council has been on side with that and I am quite confident that’s where we will land when all is finalized,” Brewer said.

He explained that there are a few ways the $122,000 shortfall will be covered.

“We looked at our overall harbour operations, and that includes all the harbours and barge facility operations, and what we realized was when you consider them all together as a whole, they were being subsidized somewhat by taxation,” he said.

“We decided there was room to reduce the amount of money that’s going into a reserve for harbour operations so we’re reducing that by $89,000 and that helps bridge most of the $122,000.”

He added that the remaining $33,000 will be funded through a combination of other general reserves.

“It will be easy to bridge that $33,000,” Brewer said.

The overall 2018 budget comes out to about $26 million, according to Brewer.

He said the 2018 city budget will be fully approved by mid-May. He said information will be posted on the city’s website, where residents will be able to view the full details of the budget.