2012 property taxes expected to increase slightly

For a $200,000 home, the increase would be from $616.96 last year to $692.74 this year, a $76 change

Tax rates are going to go up, according to District of Clearwater’s financial plan.

For a $200,000 home, the increase would be from $616.96 last year to $692.74 this year, a $76 change, director of finance Sheila Thiessen told town council last Tuesday evening.

A public information meeting will be held on April 10 in the District office building at 7 p.m. Thiessen invited all local residents to give input on the proposed budget.

The proposed 2012 tax rate would be 3.4637, she said.

That would be up somewhat from the 3.0838 used in 2011 and the 3.0532 used in 2010, but identical to the tax rate in 2009.

Council deliberately kept taxes low over the past two years because of the difficulties in the local economy, Thiessen said.

To continue to keep them low would mean dipping into reserves, something that would not be prudent, with the municipality about to take over road maintenance in the fall of 2013.

One reason for the increased tax rate is that total residential assessments (land plus improvements) are down. They went from $215 million last year to $209 million this year.

Even with the increase, tax rates in Clearwater are lower than the majority of a list of 14 B.C. communities with similar sized populations.

Clearwater placed fourth on the list. Pemberton’s residential tax rate of 2.0565 was lowest, while Burns Lake at 7.2245 was highest.

Total revenues in Clearwater’s 2012 budget would be $4.4 million. This includes $1.4 million from taxation and $1.9 million in government grants and transfers. Expenses are projected to be $3.2 million, fur a surplus of $1.2 million.

Major projects planned include dressing room expansion at the Sportsplex, which is expected to cost $715,000. Of this, $400,000 will be covered by grants.

Also in the budget is $510,000 for an ultraviolet treatment system for the water supply. Grants of $347,000 will help with the cost.

 

Incorporation appears to have been a success in terms of bringing in government grants. During the past four years the district has accessed $6.42 million in grant funding. A large portion of this money would not have been available without incorporation.