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

Thieves break into mailboxes overnight in Courtenay, Comox

Thieves in Comox were busy overnight on March 17, breaking into more… Continue reading

Man convicted of Courtenay couple’s murder

Michael Philip Simard, 45, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

Comox Valley RCMP looking for help to identify shoplifters

The Comox Valley RCMP is asking for assistance from the public to… Continue reading

Haida Manga artist to speak at North Island College

Award-winning visual artist and author Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas will speak at North… Continue reading

UPDATE: Courtenay home a ‘write-off’ after Sunday afternoon fire

Two occupants of the home and one of a neighbouring house were treated for minor smoke inhalation

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Comox Valley Hospice Society finds new Ocean Front home

Comox Valley Hospice Society (CVHS) recently announced plans to construct a new… Continue reading

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

Most Read