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100 Mile district council votes to increase tax by 6%

Tax increase is needed to deal with depleting capital reserves, says mayor
District of 100 Mile House office. (Martina Dopf photo - 100 Mile House Free Press)

The District of 100 Mile House has voted to raise the municipal tax levy by six per cent for 2024.

On Tuesday, March 26 at their regular meeting, mayor and council discussed a recent report prepared by Sheena Elias, director of financial administration, detailing what various tax levy increases would look like. The increases profiled in the report were five per cent, six per cent, seven per cent and 10 per cent. Previously, at a committee of the whole meeting held on March 19, administration had proposed a five per cent mill rate increase for the 2024 tax year - but council requested more information, including other potential tax increases.

The vote was unanimous, with Mayor Maureen Pinkney as well as Coun. Donna Barnett, Coun. Dave Mingo and Coun. Jenni Guimond all voting to increase the levy by six per cent.

Pinkney stated the increase was needed because of depleting capital reserves and she did not believe a five per cent increase would offset costs due to the cost of living crisis. In an interview with the Free Press, Pinkney expanded on why these reserves are so important.

“This increase is about day-to-day general operating costs, and we hope that every time we do a capital project, whether it’s paving or our bridge that we need to do, that there is some matching funding,” Pinkney said.

Concerns about the increase were echoed by Coun. Barnett - about the impact on business and residents of 100 Mile House. Barnett said that she met with a few businesses, and she says they are struggling to make ends meet. Barnett voted for a six per cent increase, however, she noted the situation was not a nice one to be in.

“I know the ramifications to the businesses and that every dollar now counts,” Barnett said.

Pinkney has stated she is aware of those concerns.

“We have to be very aware that times have not been profitable since COVID happened, things are not back to normal post-COVID,” Pinkney noted.

Coun. Mingo originally proposed a seven per cent increase, insisting the five per cent increase was “too low” while the 10 per cent increase was “too high.” Mingo would eventually relent and go with the rest of council in voting for a six per cent increase.

Coun. Guimond, meanwhile, noted that the difference between tax rates was quite “nominal.”

It should be noted the projected rates of money in the report to council are an estimation. B.C. has yet to conduct a full assessment of properties for 2024, so the amount of money received by the district may not be the same as what is projected in the report.

About the Author: Misha Mustaqeem

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