Council for the Village of Cumberland has put through bylaws for increases to frontage tax rates to fund local infrastructure. Record file photo

Cumberland council moves on parcel tax frontage hikes

Increases linked to infrastructure work costs in the coming years

Cumberland council put bylaws for utility frontage tax rates through three readings at a recent meeting, with adoption potentially set for March 9.

Chief financial officer Michelle Mason presented council with information about the bylaws on Feb. 24. The frontage taxes cover water, sewer and stormwater rates for the annual budget to fund infrastructure.

Council already adopted its water and sewer use rates in December and its financial plan bylaw in January.

“The next step is to move forward with the frontage tax rates,” Mason told council.

RELATED STORY: Cumberland council plans for tax, utility increases

RELATED STORY: Cumberland approves budget; relies on borrowed funds

The staff report notes council will consider property tax rates in April with the latest assessment data from the BC Assessment Authority. At present, the planned increases over 2019 work out to 4.62 per cent for municipal property taxes, 1.96 per cent for utility fees and, if approved, a 9.6 per cent for the frontage taxes.

The frontage tax rates amendment bylaws for the year are considered the next step for the annual financial plan, with the bylaws amending the current frontage tax rates for the utilities. The staff report notes the increases over the next few years are to fully fund infrastructure asset replacements in the community. A table included in the report compares rates based on taxable frontage by feet on properties for 2019 versus 2o2o and the coming years.

For water, the rate was $1.46 per foot. It goes up to $1.55 this year, then increases to between $1.65 and $1.99 between 2021 and 2024. With sewer, the 2019 rate was $1.80. This rises to $1.91, then rates are projected to be between $2.03 and $2.44 in the subsequent years. The stormwater rate was $1.08 and will go up to $1.30 in 2020. In the succeeding years, this rises to between $1.54 and $2.45 a year.

In 2020, the median property size amount for all three taxes should work out to a total of about $285.60, compared with $260.40 in 2019. The range runs from $238 for the smallest parcel to $476 for the largest, with $296.75 ending up as the average.

The Village’s main goals for the revenue are to fund necessary water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure over the next 20 years, reduce its dependence on Royston water sales during the next five years, create reserve funds each year for water meter replacements, fund the water supply and estimated sewer treatment operating costs and, finally, stabilize rate increases required through to 2024.

Owners of properties affected by the parcel tax bylaws can have complaints go before a parcel tax review. They can make complaints on grounds of errors or omissions around names and address on the tax roll, the inclusion of a parcel, the taxable area or frontage or if an exemption has been improperly disallowed or allowed.

Coun. Jesse Ketler asked, as an example, whether an owner would pay sewer frontage tax if they are not connected to sewer service. Mason clarified the reason there might an exemption.

“It would be a lot that will never have service to the sewer, then they wouldn’t pay sewer,” she said, “but if it’s a subdivision and it’s just a normal one … they’re all going to have access to sewer, so they pay on the lot.”

If a parcel tax review panel meeting is required to hear complaints, it will be scheduled for March 23 at 4:30 p.m., though property owners must contact the Village no later than 48 hours in advance of the meeting.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Comox Valley Farmers’ Market set for online shopping

An online store will complement the market and is set to start taking orders soon.

Comox Valley centre offering free online meditation and mindfulness teachings

The Comox Valley has a well-kept secret in the Sherab Chamma Tibetan… Continue reading

Comox Valley Food Bank set to reopen

The organization closed last week due to concerns around COVID-19

VIDEO: Courtenay residential community offers nightly balcony salute to frontline workers

Residents of The Tides in Courtenay gathered, social distancing intact, to salute… Continue reading

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Comox Valley grocers going extra mile during coronavirus

We have had numerous requests to post a fluid article directing consumers… Continue reading

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

Most Read