Williams Lake city council meeting Tuesday, April 26, 2022. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake city council meeting Tuesday, April 26, 2022. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake residential tax rate reduced by 10 per cent for 2022

City council wanted the rate lowered due to increased property assessments

Williams Lake property owners can expect a 10 per cent reduction in the residential tax rate for 2022.

City council and staff worked together to reduce the budget so the rate could be decreased because many residents saw their assessments go up considerably this year.

The tax rate bylaw at the regular council meeting Tuesday, April 26.

Mayor Walt Cobb said residents may still see an increase in the amount of taxes they pay over last year, depending on how much their assessment went up.

His own assessment went up by 50.9 per cent and Coun. Ivan Bonnell’s only went up by 13 per cent.

Using their taxes as an example, Cobb said if the adjustment had not been made Bonnell’s city taxes would have been $421 but have been reduced to $223.

“My own is a little bit different. My tax increase would have been $1,392. Even with the 10 per cent reduction because of the assessment rate going up, my taxes are still going to be $1,166 this year over and above last year.”

Depending on the tax rate set by the Cariboo Regional District it could be more than that, he added.

Council has not implemented a tax increase in the last eight years, with the exception of 2018 when it was raised by 1.9 per cent in because of a large policing bill, Cobb confirmed.

According to a tax load comparison table prepared by city chief financial officer Vitali Kozubenko, residential taxes make up 44.1 per cent of the city’s tax load, followed by business at 25.9 per cent, major industry at 19.9 per cent and light industry at 4.1 per cent.

Council also approved the 2022-2026 financial plan bylaw.

In the plan, it is budgeted the city’s general fund will receive revenue of $15,786,764 from property taxes, $5,712,287 from service fees and charges, $5,205,492 from grants and other governments, $3,257,685 in transfers from its own reserves, $1,248,840 from other city funds and $50,000 contribution from third parties. The total budgeted revenue of $31,261,068 will match the anticipated expenditures of $31,261,068.

Expenditures under general revenue include services that fall under general government services $2,656,759, development services $752,480, policing $5,423,897, fire and bylaw $1,460,149, municipal $6,115,063, recreational and cultural $4,584,234, debt principal and interest $828,347, transfers to own reserves $6,000, transfers to other city funds $398,513 and capital asset investments $9,035,628.

As for the city’s water fund in 2022, service fees and charges will account for $2,279,000, parcel taxes of $155,00, transfers from other city funds in the amount of $20,00 and transfers from own reserves in the amount of $1,549,012 for a total of $4,003,012 which is the budgeted expenditures for the water fund.

Under the sewer fund, the budgeted revenue for 2022 is $7,387,506 resulting from 1,522,500 in service fees and charges, $323,000 in parcel taxes, $4,358,109 in grants from other governments, $378,513 transfers from other city funds and $805,484 transfers from other reserves.

Again expenditures for the sewer fund are budgeted at $7,387,506.

The 2022 transit budget is $742,271 and the airport budget is $3,458,463.

Council pre-approved the 2022 asphalt rehabilitation project in the amount of $1,669,447 plus $285,000 for saddle replacement as well as early budget approval for the HVAC works yard, crush gravel, single axle dump truck with combination box, wheel loader and cemetery irrigation upgrade projects.

READ MORE: STICKER SHOCK: BC Assessment property values up significantly in Williams Lake

Editor’s note: This article has been updated from the original with comments from Mayor Walt Cobb.


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