Courtenay mayor Larry Jangula introduced the resolution. Photo by Scott Strasser.

Courtenay mayor Larry Jangula introduced the resolution. Photo by Scott Strasser.

Courtenay council votes down tax freeze, core services review

A resolution to freeze the City’s taxes this year at 2017 levels failed in a 5-2 vote

A resolution to freeze taxes and undergo a core services review was voted down by Courtenay city council on Feb. 19.

Proposed by mayor Larry Jangula, the resolution called for an immediate tax freeze at 2017 levels for 2018 in Courtenay, as well as a core services review by City staff to determine possible cost-saving measures.

Jangula cited a number of reasons for the resolution, including Courtenay’s single-family property assessments having increased on average 22 per cent in 2017, the City’s operating expenses budget increasing 27.3 per cent since 2013, and residential utility rates for water, sewer and garbage increasing 25.5 per cent in the same time frame.

Read More: Property assessments, home prices on the rise in the Comox Valley

He also mentioned a list of large infrastructure projects for water, sewer, and solid waste upgrades underway at the regional district level that is further putting the strain on taxpayers.

“We have to separate our needs from our wants,” he said, adding that people’s incomes are not increasing at the same rates as their taxation.

Coun. David Frisch was the first to speak after the resolution was introduced. He said he felt the motion was premature, considering the City is still looking at its 2018 budget.

“Which core services would we be reviewing? Would we be reviewing roadways, water, sewer, recreation?” he asked. “It should be noted that, even though I open my tax bill and see it’s gone up $200 or $300, I recognize there is quite a bit of value in that tax bill.”

Council voted 5-2 against the resolution.

“I think a lot of issues we have is relaying those benefits to our citizens and saying ‘this is the value you’re getting when you pay those three or four thousand dollars every year’,” said Frisch.

Another councillor who opposed the resolution was Erik Eriksson.

“[A core services review] suggests we haven’t been doing our job,” he said. “I don’t think we deserve that criticism. I think we all worked hard, as well as our staff, to make sure things are properly in line.”

After about 20 minutes of discussion, the resolution failed in a 5-2 vote. Only Jangula and Coun. Manno Theos voted in favour.

After the meeting, the mayor acknowledged that he didn’t think council would support his resolution.

“I didn’t think the council would support it but I had to make the motion and get it on the table because I think it’s a topic that has to be discussed in this community,” said Jangula.

“We have a council that really means well and cares about people. What happens is that it’s so hard to say no. There are so many good groups. What group do you say no to? But the reality is that when you say yes, you’re taking money that could go to someone else.”

Alongside the resolution to freeze taxes, the proposal for city staff to undergo a core services review was also voted down.

Just Posted

Brooklyn Elementary was able to get its expanded garden ready this spring. Photo by Comox Valley Schools
Comox Valley school garden in full bloom after setback

Along with COVID delays, Brooklyn Elementary project had lumber stolen in 2020

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

Little Brown Bat, Cori Lausen image
Puntledge River bats being studied

Project will use ultrasonic data to collect information on species and habitat

A 30x40 ft boat/car shop in the Little River area near Wilkinson Road was fully involved by the time firefighters arrived on scene. Photo by Comox Fire Rescue
Comox firefighters battle ‘showy’ shop fire Saturday night

Smoke could be seen throughout the Comox Valley

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

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

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Most Read