Council back to business of deciding on property-tax hike
Kamloops city councillors will turn their eyes back to the balance sheet on Tuesday, March 12, as they look back at three nights' worth of public input and get ready to set the tax rate for 2013.
Going into Tuesday's meeting, taxpayers are facing a hike of 3.85 per cent, or about $65 for an average home with an assessed value of $344,000.
Add in user fees for water, sewer and garbage service, which were set at the end of 2012, and this year’s bill would be about $2,700.
That doesn’t take into account a list of supplementary items that would push the tax rate to upwards of seven per cent.
Among the items are a $340,000 fix to a smelly sewer lift station on River Street, $109,568 to add two RCMP officers to the Kamloops detachment and a $340,000 roof replacement for the Canada Games Pool.
The list will be pared down by council during the final stage of the budget process.
The going rate also doesn’t take into account the city’s surplus from 2012, which director of finance Sally Edwards has said will come in at about $1 million.
Council can choose to use that money to reduce the tax hike or set it aside in reserves for later use.
It takes just under $860,000 to bring the tax increase down one per cent.
Councillors have indicated they want to see the tax hike increase by less than three per cent, as is the norm in recent years. The city last increased property taxes by more than three per cent in 2004, when it hiked the bill by 3.39 per cent.
Council will wrap up deliberations with a second special budget meeting on April 9 and must set the tax rate by May 15.