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HomeNewsCity approves five-year Financial Plan; residential property taxes to rise 4.7 percent

City approves five-year Financial Plan; residential property taxes to rise 4.7 percent

Property taxes are going up nearly five percent in Powell River.

This, after council members approved the city’s 2020 to 2024 Financial Plan at their May 14th meeting. 

The plan includes a tax increase of 4.7 percent for an average residential property. 

The impact to the average single-family home for 2020 will be $133.70.

The main determining factor for the increase is the new wastewater treatment plant, which is set to begin construction later this year. 

Included in the 2020 property tax increase is the debt servicing cost of $10,000,000 to fund a portion of the plant’s construction. 

The impact to the average home will be $51.25 or 1.8 percent of the 4.7 percent tax increase. 

“When you take away the wastewater treatment plant, the increase in the average property tax is 2.9 percent, or about a point above the cost-of-living,” said Mayor Dave Formosa. 

“We don’t want to raise taxes, but if we’re to maintain the same services for the citizens of Powell River and continue to grow, we have to. These are tough times. There’s no two ways about it.” 

Still under consideration is the impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on City finances and ways to pay your taxes. Council is closely monitoring the situation and will be reviewing those factors in the coming weeks. 

“We have approved this year’s tax requisition and Five-Year Plan Bylaws, but I understand that we have more work to do,” said Finance Committee chair, George Doubt.

 “I expect city staff will be presenting a report to council next week regarding the projected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our revenue and expenses. There will also be recommendations on specific projects that Council may decide to defer in order to balance those impacts.” 

Doubt added, the City hopes residents will participate in the financial planning for the future by applying for the Community Finance Advisory Committee

Operating costs to maintain City service levels have increased by 2.9 percent. 

According to a city release, included is an increase to strengthen the RCMP service; North Harbour boat launch upgrades; Recreation Complex improvements and maintenance of service levels; park improvements; additional electric vehicle charging stations; a social planner position, paid for by the city, qathet Regional District and Tla’amin Nation; and a CUPE wage increase of two percent.

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