Courtenay council

Courtenay council

Courtenay council approves 1.86 per cent property tax increase

Courtenay council has approved the 2021-2025 financial plan, which outlines projected tax rates, and anticipated revenues and expenses for capital and operational programs over the next five years. The plan includes an overall property tax increase in 2021 of 1.86 per cent.

The preliminary estimate for an average residential property valued at $476,000 is about $50 for the year — which is subject to change depending on the final BC Assessment roll delivered at the end of March, and council’s decision on the commercial multiplier in April.

Mayor Bob Wells said the plan prioritizes maintaining essential levels of service.

“Throughout the budget process our council has been keenly aware of the impacts the pandemic has had on residents and businesses,” he said. “We are very grateful for the $4.149 million COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant we received last year from the provincial government, which we’ve incorporated into our financial plan based on recommendations from our finance select committee. This is really helping offset some of the significant revenue losses we’ve been experiencing and allows us to continue our essential operations without significantly increasing taxation.”

The city is taking a pause this year on the annual contribution to the Infrastructure Reserve Levy to provide additional relief to taxpayers.

The 2021 general budget includes:

•New borrowing of $3.4 million in the general fund for the 5th Street Rehabilitation project;

•$14.7 million in capital expenses for infrastructure projects and upgrades;

•$36.5 million in operating expenses;

•$1.9 million of COVID-19 Restart Grant funds have been utilized in 2021.

Other external cost increases unrelated to COVID-19 include increases to minimum wage, insurance and utilities, and policing services which accounts for more than half of the 1.86 per cent increase for general operations.

“This budget is aligned with council’s strategic priorities, and I am confident we’re moving in the right direction,” said Wells. “I’d like to thank staff for all the hard work that has gone into developing this financial plan during these very challenging times.”

The Community Charter requires that council adopt a five-year financial plan, or budget document, each year prior to adopting the annual property tax bylaw. Future year forecasts are projections based on estimates only. The city continues to implement a robust asset management planning program, and uses a conservative approach to estimate future revenues and expenditures. Future year forecasts do not include all other potential revenue sources such as grants. The city will continue to advocate for existing and emerging funding opportunities to reduce the impact on taxpayers and residents.

The financial plan and tax rate bylaws will be adopted by May 15 with tax notices mailed out by the end of May.

To review the detailed background reports and presentations, visit

The Draft Consolidated Financial Plan will be available for review starting March 17. Email feedback by March 31 to

For information on the relationship between your property assessment and property taxes, visit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations in Gold River area

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Volunteers sort through bottles and cans during Saturday's fundraiser for hospice. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Valley hospice holds drive-through bottle drive

Bike team is fundraising for the annual Cycle of Life tour on Vancouver Island

The Village of Cumberland is applying for a UBCM grant to help streamline development application processes. Black Press file photo
Cumberland looks to streamline development

“This looks like the best thing we’ve ever applied for.”

Security camera image of 7-Eleven robbery suspect. Photo supplied.
Late-night Courtenay robbery results in 500-plus days in jail

Heatley’s sentence also includes probation, DNA order, firearms ban

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Most Read