Each year the City of Rossland pays a tax requisition to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) in exchange for services that the regional district provides, such as transit and solid waste management.
This year Rossland’s tax requisition was $1,496,079.
That tax requisition is determined based on accessed property values—the same ones used in determining property taxes—and set out in the RDKB’s annual budget, broken down by service.
To help Rosslanders better understand what their hard-won tax dollars are paying for, we’ve broken down each of these services to offer some explanation of what it is, and to show what percentage of the tax requisition it represents.
Beth Burget, general manager of finance for the RDKB, offered her help explaining the services and explaining a little bit about how the budget is put together.
The budget needs to be approved by March 31, before the final accessed property values are made available, and that means that there is usually a small discrepancy in the tax requisition listed in the budget and the actual tax requisition, which needs to be done by April 10.
“The reason for that is … if you’re a property owner, you get your accessed notice and then you have an opportunity to appeal it,” Burget said. “So there’s always some people that appeal, and there could be changes to accessed values, and we don’t get those actual file numbers, [until] right before I’m actually doing the tax requisition.”
But any discrepancies are generally minimal.
Administration and general government—$47,266 or 3.16%
This includes expenses for the regional district directors, as well as the cost of management staff, which includes administration, finance, and information technology. It also includes thing like postage, telephone costs, office equipment and supplies, and legal fees.
Regional development services for environmental planning and zoning—$15,578 or 1.04%
Rossland contributes to planning and development across the regional district, as do the other municipalities and electoral areas in the RDKB.
Planning agreement for environmental planning and zonin—$1,712 or 0.11%
Rossland also contracts out some of its own planning and development to the district.
Reserve for feasibility studies—$30 or 0.00%
A small amount is put aside to conduct any feasibility studies that might be needed during the year.
Police based victim’s assistance—$8,664 or 0.58%
This money is used to provide services for those who’ve been the victim of a crime. A solicitor general grant accounts for 43 percent of this service’s revenue, while another 49 percent is covered by tax payers.
Regionalized solid waste management—$108,860 or 7.28%
Solid waste management includes running the areas three major landfills, as well as a number of transfer stations. Costs include equipment, maintenance and repairs, salaries, and recycling activities.
9-1-1 emergency communications—$26,583 or 1.78%
This money covers the costs associated with 9-1-1 dispatch, including salaries, telephone bills, and equipment.
East End economic development services—$28,101 or 1.88%
The RDKB has a contract with the Lower Columbia Community Development Team Society (LCCDTS) to provide economic development services for the East End.
The LCCDTS identifies “regional priorities through strategic planning sessions with our members and stakeholders, and then address[es] the needs identified within our communities through our committee work.” It also oversees the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation (LCIC).
Culture, arts and recreation for the Lower Columbia—$111,512 or 7.45%
This piece of the budget is mainly operating costs for the Greater Trail Community & Arts Centre, home of the Charles Bailey Theatre and the VISAC Gallery among other things.
Fire protection for the East End—$511,010 or 34.16%
The largest chunk of Rossland’s tax requisition goes toward the budget for the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue. As the new firefighter training position was not introduced until June, well after the budget was finalized, the additional salary is being drawn from reserves.
East End cemeteries—$71,798 or 4.80%
This money covers the costs of running the cemeteries in Fruitvale, Rossland and Trail.
East End sewer utility—$374,076 or 25.00%East End sewer utility: Rossland—$3,975 or 0.27%East End sewer utility: Rossland/Warfield—$4,781 or 0.32%
Sewer utility in the district is split up based on an arbitrated agreement, which basically breaks down who pays for what based on who owns what percentage of the system.
Certain parts of the system are shared by Rossland, Warfield and Trail, while others are shared by Rossland and Warfield, and others are only owned by Rossland or Trail.
East End transit—$182,072 or 12.17%
This part of the budget accounts for the costs associated with running public transit in the area. Farebox revenue provides only 19 percent of the overall revenue, with tax payers covering 70 percent.
Adjustments from 2014—$61 or 0.00%
BC Assessment provides final assessment numbers at the end of the year, which Burget then uses to recalculate the tax requisition amounts from April. Any differences are accounted for in this line of the budget.