Residents may see 4.9 per cent tax increase

In a vote of five to two council gave the first three readings to its proposed property tax bylaw at the Tuesday evening council meeting.

In a vote of five to two council gave the first three readings to its proposed property tax bylaw at the Tuesday evening council meeting, which includes a three per cent tax increase for 2012, with a one per cent tax shift away from major industry to business and residential.

As a result, that three per cent would not be a three per cent increase across all classes, but would translate into a 4.87 per cent increase in residential taxes — or $5.50 for every $1,000 of assessed value in 2012, up from $5.26 in 2011.

In other words, a home assessed at $200,000 will see a $48 annual increase.

An increase to the business rate of 5.17 per cent equates to $11.88 on $1,000 assessed value in 2012, up from $11.20 in 2011; and an increase to light industry of 5.82 per cent  equates to $43.39 on $1,000 assessed value in 2012, up from $34.71 in 2011.

Major industrial taxes will see less of an increase, going from $88.24 to $89.37 on $1,000 of assessed value, whereas utility rates will remain capped at $40 per $1,000 assessed value.

It came as no surprise that councillors Ivan Bonnell and Surinderpal Rathor voted against the tax bylaw, as that has been their position throughout the budget discussions.

Bonnell described the break to major industry as a “break through the back door” and an “injustice to residential and business sectors.”

“If major industry thinks it has a challenge this year with what’s going on economically in their sector, future years aren’t looking much brighter,” Bonnell said. “The position council’s taking on this tax is unsustainable and will compound into an even bigger problem next year.”

He also said he was disappointed that work on South Lakeside has been postponed to 2013.

Mayor Kerry Cook agreed she was not pleased that the work has been delayed, but said the city ran out of time and that the necessary details and design work were not in place.

“What was also brought up was that we did not want to inconvenience people who drive that road for over two years.

“That was my final decision,” Cook explained, adding she understands the frustration.

More than $1.7 million in cuts were made to the budget, Cook said.

When it comes to the tax rate, Cook said she disagreed that it was a break to one sector.

“They’ve been paying their share for many, many years. What we have to do as a council is look at the long term.

Coun. Geoff Bourdon agreed and said in 10 or 15 years he believes he will be able to look back and say he made the right decision.

“Often the decision that’s right for the long term is not popular for today,” Bourdon said.

Rathor said he was saddened that a zero per cent option was never proposed.

“I feel strongly that we did not cut back enough,” he said.

Although disappointed in the delay of South Lakeside, Rathor agreed with Cook that he’d rather see the road work done right over one season, rather than over two years.

On the other hand, Coun. Sue Zacharias described the tax bylaw as being financially responsible.

“The citizens don’t want to see a cut to the services. We did cut and slash 1.7  million and we’re still keeping the services that our citizens value.

“I do believe we have to keep putting money aside for different areas of the community,” she said, adding the savings will help when it comes to applying for grants because the city will have money to put in the pot.

Echoing Zacharias, Coun. Laurie Walters said she’s supported the idea of saving for the future and believes the budget is one of the steps the city is making toward that goal.

“I’ve spoken to people who are putting it into perspective, the actual increase that we are asking for, and how much it equates to at the end of the day,” Walters said.

Walters said the budget process has been difficult, but that she’s learned a lot.

“Maybe sometimes you have to go through this to learn how to do things differently. Maybe this budget isn’t as sexy or the budget of process, but we have to recognize that what we’re doing is building toward bringing down our debt.

“We are being thoughtful on how we are going to plan ahead by having reserves in place,” Walters said.

Just Posted

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

A Cariboo Regional District director and School District 27 trustee, Angie Delainey is also a fourth generation business owner in downtown Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Angie Delainey appointed Cariboo Regional District represetive on regional board

Delainey and Steve Forseth represent the CRD at the North Central Local Government Association

Pauline Schmutz, 75, receives her COVID-19 vaccine from public health nurse Donna McKenzie on Tuesday, April 13 at the community clinic at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Additional COVID-19 vaccine clinics scheduled for Horsefly, Big Lake

Anyone 18 and over who has not received a vaccine yet is encouraged to register

The Cariboo Regional District. (Angie Mindus photo)
Industrial park slated for Watch Lake Road

Building company Omnitek to start building new plant on 32-acre site

Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort on Puntzi Lake has been purchased by Tsideldel First Nation. (Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort photo)
Tsideldel First Nation buys Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort at Puntzi Lake

“It’s a good opportunity for the band, our children and our future,” said Chief Otis Guichon

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Most Read