City council passed and endorsed its tax rate bylaw for 2012, which includes a one per cent shift from industrial taxes onto residential and business.
Mayor Kerry Cook, councillors Sue Zacharias, Laurie Walters and Danica Hughes were in favour, while councillors Ivan Bonnell and Surinderpal Rathor were opposed.
“There will be incidents, in particular the slide that affected the storm line in the River Valley, that will incur significant costs,” Bonnell said. “I don’t believe that council’s given enough consideration of the impact of an industrial tax shift in 2012 and I’m recommending that two members of council reconsider their position on this tax rate and pull that back and have the tax rate that’s going to be imposed on the community go across all classes.”
Cook responded that she respected Bonnell’s argument; however, she said she was in favour of the one per cent shift.
“It’s very small and I don’t see it as a break to industry, as much as I see it as appearing as a city to be in a stronger financial position long term,” Cook said, adding she was in agreement with Bonnell that the tax discussion needs to be changed to involve more community input.
Rathor has pushed for a zero per cent tax increase from the beginning, and said for that reason he would not support the tax rate bylaw.