Tax error in 2020 means lower rate for residents in 2021

Alberni's taxation for regional library accidently written down twice

The City of Port Alberni will be reducing the 2021 tax rate by almost $800,000 due to an error in the 2020 budget.

Council agreed on Monday to lower municipal taxation by $790,419 for the upcoming year after the city collected “excess revenues” in 2020.

Finance manager Andrew McGifford explained that the Vancouver Island Regional Library taxation was accidentally included twice in the 2020 budget, in two different places. This was due to different reporting policies between the province and municipalities.

“This created an increase in revenues beyond what was in the financial plan,” McGifford said.

McGifford said that city staff did consult with the province about the “best approach” to correct this error. The two best options were to lower the 2021 tax rate or to put the excess revenue in a reserve fund. Council chose to lower the 2021 tax rate.

The city is currently proposing a 3.95 percent tax increase for 2021, but this will be reduced in an upcoming budget meeting.

The city will be holding a public discussion about the budget meeting on Monday, March 1. To register for the virtual meeting, visit www.portalberni.ca.

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