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Property tax hike in Courtenay looming as city budget gets three readings

Council report says only 54% of money stays with the city
Courtenay City Hall (File photo)

Property taxes in Courtenay are set to increase by about 7.5 per cent this year.

Council gave first three readings to the 2024-2028 financial plan at the April 24 meeting. It includes a rise to property tax rates at 7.47 per cent, director of financial services Adam Langenmaier told the Record in an email.

While the tax is increasing for a second year, Courtenay council maneuvered to bring the rate down compared to what it was planned to be in an earlier draft, he said. Councillors asked the city to pull money from other areas, so that it did not need to collect nearly 10 per cent to balance the budget.

RELATED: 9.6% property tax increase last year

Speaking to the increase, Langenmaier at council on Wednesday (April 24) pointed out that a significant amount of money is taken away from the Courtenay budget.

“I want to highlight that the city collects taxes on behalf of many other taxing authorities,” he said. “At times it feels a little unfair that we’re collecting the tax, and then kind of getting the mean eye from the taxpayer.”

According to the city’s report, Courtenay only remains with 54 per cent of the total property tax it collects from residents.

The remainder goes to a list of organizations including the Vancouver Island Regional Library, some services through the Comox Valley Regional District, the hospital district in Comox Strathcona, BC Assessment Authority, and the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Area, the report said.

The increase is the second in a row for taxpayers in Courtenay — last year’s budget rose property taxes 9.6 per cent.

The budget will need to return to council again for another vote before it is official.

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