Cumberland is finalizing its tax rate bylaw for the year, which will see a 4.93 per cent increase. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Cumberland is finalizing its tax rate bylaw for the year, which will see a 4.93 per cent increase. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Cumberland moving ahead on 4.93 tax hike

Residential rates’ hike was less than projected during planning stages

Cumberland is moving ahead, as planned, on a tax increase of just under five per cent for the coming year.

Council passed the first three readings of the tax rate bylaw at the April 12 meeting. This needs adoption at a subsequent meeting in order to be finalized before May 15.

“You’ve already adopted the financial plan, which is another requirement,” chief financial officer Michelle Mason told council.

She gave council a brief overview of the bylaw, which has followed on the heels of the village’s five-year financial plan discussions through the fall and winter.

RELATED STORY: Cumberland takes next steps on tax hike

For 2021, the approved five-year financial plan will need municipal property tax revenues of $3,449,960, compared with a tax requisition of $3,211,620 for 2020. For ratepayers, this amounts to a 4.93 per cent increase.

“The increase is a little bit less for the residential single-family and strata units than what was brought to you in the fall,” Mason said.

For example, a single-family home increase estimated to be $269 is now $194 for 2021, while a strata unit increase estimated to be $236 will be $217.

As well, there are reductions to the parcel tax and tax requisition for the Comox Valley Regional District over what had been planned, along with drops in the amount for regional solid waste service and the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District.

However, several property categories will be going back to pre-COVID levels, such as commercial. Mason explained the properties are no longer being subsidized on school taxes.

“We will do our best to communicate that,” she said.

A staff report notes that changes in the total assessed property values for Cumberland cause the tax rate to change, with the property tax rates in the bylaw based on assessments from the revised roll as of March 2021. The total market value for assessments for Cumberland increased by approximately four per cent.

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