Courtenay council has endorsed a five-year operating plan that proposes a 3.18 per cent increase in revenue from property taxes for 2015.
Tax increase for an average property with a value just shy of $280,000 is estimated at $38. On the commercial side, those with properties worth $694,450 are looking at a $220 increase for the municipal portion of the tax notice.
The proposed 2015 financial plan provides for $39 million in expenditures. The money mostly comes from tax levies, and from fees, rates and service charges.
About 20 per cent of the budget goes towards water and sewer operations. Protective services comprise roughly 17 per cent. The budgeted level for police is 30.4 members, with an anticipated vacancy pattern of two RCMP members. Gaming funds pay for two police officers, estimated at $325,278.
Council will discuss tax rates and multipliers in April. The budget needs to be adopted by May 15.
Citizen Budget ‘a great tool’
The City has launched an online tool dubbed Citizen Budget, in keeping with a Community Charter mandate to engage the public during financial planning before a budget is adopted. It elicited 111 responses from the public.
“It’s a great tool in terms of educating the public,” CAO David Allen said. “I think we can expand on it.”
One question asked the percentage increase in property taxation that respondents would be willing to pay. Forty-three per cent favoured the one to two per cent range.
Sixty-seven per cent of respondents consider the value received from property tax dollars as ‘fairly good.’ Several comments demanded a halt to the Maple Pool lawsuit. Others noted a need for affordable, supportive housing. firstname.lastname@example.org