District of Clearwater property taxpayers likely will pay 5.5 per cent more this year than last.
That’s according to information released during an open house held Feb. 11 to discuss the municipality’s budget.
Inflation according to the consumer price index is about 2.5 per cent and the municipal inflation rate is about one per cent above that, said director of finance Wes Renaud.
Since incorporation in 2008, the residential mill rate has gone up by 27.5 per cent or less than 3.5 per cent per year.
The increase will amount to $58 on a home assessed at $250,000. For a business assessed at $275,000, the increase will be $222.
Different property classes pay taxes at different rates, with residential being the lowest and utilities such as the pipeline and railway being the highest.
Despite the increase, Clearwater will remain near the bottom of the list of similarly sized municipalities for residential property taxes and charges.
Total residential property taxes and charges for Clearwater total about $2,500, roughly the same as 100 Mile House and Burns Lake. Top of the list is Fruitvale, at $3,300, while Barriere is at the bottom at $1,600.
Roads are the biggest single item in Clearwater’s budget, amounting to 38 per cent.
That includes streetlights, snow plowing, pothole filling and so one, Renaud said.
For the first five years after incorporation, the municipality did not have to pay for road maintenance, but that holiday is now over.
Only about half of the property taxes collected by District of Clearwater actually go to the municipality. The rest goes to School District 73, Thompson-Nicola Regional District, the hospital, and policing.
About 40 per cent of the property owners within the District receive the Homeowners Grant for those over 65 years. However, that makes no difference to the municipality as the provincial government makes up the difference.
Below: District of Clearwater ranks near the bottom of similar-sized municipalities in terms of total residential property taxes and charges, according to this table. The statistics come from the provincial government. District of Clearwater graphic