I am hearing from Council that other municipalities are looking at rolling back their budgets to a 0% increase. Please respond if whether or not your municipality is considering this?
Our Council here at the District of Sechelt requested a minimum (close to zero) increase at our virtual Committee of the Whole meeting yesturday. We've been asked to come back to the table with a budget to keep the status quo.
In Cranbrook, we adopted our budget on January 27th. The question of rolling back the budget has come up, but not officially. Our March 23rd meeting was cancelled. We have our next meeting on Monday, April 6th. It could come up there. Our tax levy increase was 2.88% which includes 1% dedicated to capital road works. The only lines large enough to bring the increase to zero are transfer to reserves or the road amount. While there are concerns about an increase to the tax levy, there is also a lot of discussion around the municipality providing economic stimulus.
I will be presenting a report to our COW on April 14 that has a 0% revision to the budget as an option, but not recommended. Our budget stands at a 2.9% tax increase which represents about $40-$50 increase on the average assessed home. However a change in the way we recover one component of our sewer fees will result in a deferral of about $260 to a fall user fee billing, so even at a 2.9% increase, the average residential property will be about $200 less than in 2019.
Town of View Royal
Revelstoke's financial plan passed with a 6% increase. It sounds high, but we started with a 3.5% required to adjust for lost property tax revenue from a rather large assessment appeal. Then we had 1.5% to go to reserves for capital projects and 1% for operations (wages). So, the only room for adjustment was the 1.5%. I recommended staying the course and revisiting the 2021 proposed tax increase instead. For the average home in Revelstoke, 6% = $100.
No change to our 3% increase proposed was requested by Council in Parksville.