Williams Lake taxpayers could see a mill rate change in 2022 to compensate for the dramatic increase in residential property assessments.
During the regular city council meeting Tuesday, Jan. 11, Mayor Walt Cobb said his own assessment went up more than 50 per cent and he’s heard from other residents who have seen large increases.
“There is going to be some discussion on how we deal with this unusual scenario,” Cobb said. “We’ve always said we wouldn’t ask for more money that we need to operate and I think we will stick to that.”
With an average 21.2 per cent increase across the board for assessments in the city, even a zero per cent tax increase would translate into a 14 per cent increase in taxation for property owners, said Coun. Scott Nelson.
“This community has paid dearly over the years when we didn’t have money,” Nelson said. “We can afford to adjust the mill rate and put some money back into the pockets of the taxpayers.”
Nelson said he wanted to let the community know council and staff are aware of the issue and will be meeting to discuss some options.
Last year’s increase in assessments saw the city gain $450,000 in residential taxation with a zero per cent tax rate increase, Nelson added.
It is good news that property values are going up because it means people have made solid investments, Nelson said.
“We’ve said for many years, ‘buy in Williams Lake because things are going to go up.’ The fantastic news is I think you are going to see this for years to come in our community. The value of real estate is going to continue to increase.”
He predicted the property values will continue to increase over the next 10 years.