District of Clearwater
At the regular council meeting held on May 5, council approved the 2020-2024 Five Year Financial Plan and the Municipal Tax Rate Bylaw for the 2020 Tax year.
Municipal taxes for properties in the following classes: residential, supportive housing, recreation and non-profit, and farm will see $10.47 (annual increase) per $100,000 of assessed value. This is less than $0.87 per month.
Rates for business, utilities, managed forests, mayor and light industry will not see a change in 2020 unless their property assessment value has changed from last year.
Governments, in general, are facing many challenges with the global economic downturn we are facing due to the pandemic.
“It’s in tough times that strong financial planning really shines. Council and staff have worked hard over the past few years to get Clearwater on a stable financial course so that we could hopefully weather such events as the current pandemic,” said Mayor Merlin Blackwell.
“I am really proud of the amount of time and thought that the current staff and council have put into this budget. It reflects the real concern we have for the citizens and businesses in Clearwater, but also balances that with the need to be fiscally responsible and to stay on track with our long-term financial plan.”
Council is committed to continuing their work towards sustainable growth of reserves for infrastructure (Roads, Water and Sewer), and to allocate funds to Economic Development initiatives.
The 2020 budget includes some of what citizens have asked for including maintaining existing service levels for roads, recreation health program, protective services, and transit, as well as maintaining the district’s strategic focus of financial resiliency through short and longterm planning by prudent use of reserves and leveraging funds from available sources.
“It will never be easy to balance the needs of the community, investment in infrastructure and the financial impact to our taxpayers,” said Coun. Lucy Taylor, chair of the Finance and Audit Committee.
“The recent mill closure and the economic impacts of COVID-19 have made for an even more challenging budget process this year. I’m proud of the work of completed by district staff and council to create a thoughtful and robust budget that maintains financial resiliency without negatively impacting the level of service that we are committed to providing to the community.”