Williams Lake city council is aiming for a zero per cent tax increase in its 2020 budget, citing increased as assessments as the reason the City will receive additional funds. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake city council planning for zero per cent tax increase in 2020

Staff will present 2020-24 financial bylaw for third reading at Tuesday March 10 regular meeting

Williams Lake city council is aiming for a zero per cent tax increase in 2020.

Finance committee chair Scott Nelson said an increase in assessments and new business taxes will generate about $415,000 in new money so a tax increase shouldn’t be necessary.

Nelson outlined a report prepared by the City’s chief financial officer Vitali Kozubenko regarding the 2020 budget and five-year-financial plan to the committee of the whole meeting Tuesday, March 3.

A proposed budget includes 69 capital projects, $14.3 million in capital projects, $24.9 in operations and grant applications in the amount of $6.2 million.

Read more: Council moves to develop more ‘realistic’ budgets

The City’s debt will be sitting at $8 million at the end of the year, down from $15.6 million five years ago, Nelson said.

Council was also asked to approve the use of prior-year surpluses and community forest dividend funds for the 2020 budget, however, no final decisions are made at committee of the whole meetings.

Kozubenko said he is concerned that the general fund is running out and encouraged council to start thinking about making the general fund sustainable by finding ways to increase revenue.

Responding Mayor Walt Cobb said if the City were to receive all the grants its applied for the City would need to look at other sources of revenue, either borrowing internally or externally, to complete the capital projects.

Staff will now prepare the 2020-24 financial plan bylaw for introduction and first three readings at the Tuesday, March 10 regular council meeting.



news@wltribune.com

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