The Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s board of directors has approved the regional district’s 2012-16 financial plan. The 2012 provisional budget is estimating a tax requisition of approximately $22.4 million, which equates to a three per cent increase from last year.
“Base taxes, with the exception of solid waste management, haven’t increased since 2006 when a large increase was implemented,” said Tanya Garost, TNRD director of finance.
“Instead of doing a large increase that would carry us through our current five year plan, we are recommending smaller, incremental increases of 3 per cent this year, and between 2.5 per cent and three per cent for 2013 and 2014.”
Tax increases in 2015 and beyond would be dependent on service levels, levels of operating reserves achieved and amounts of new growth taxation. Taxation of solid waste management was increased in 2008 and is not forecast to increase through the current five-year plan.
The TNRD has been relying heavily on operating reserves and new growth taxation as of late to keep taxes at the current rate. The overall three per cent increase translates to an increase in property tax for the average assessed residential household of between $1 and $8 for member municipalities. The increase for the average assessed residential household in the electoral areas ranges from $1 to $25 for 2012.
Local highlights of the five-year financial plan include fire protection costs for Vavenby are projected to increase 24 per cent this coming year, from $117,000 to $146,000. Blackpool fire protection is to go down 11 per cent, from $138,000 to $122,000.
Search and rescue for Electoral Areas A (Wells Gray Country), B (Thompson Headwaters). and O (Lower North Thompson) will remain at about $20,000 per year. Highway Rescue for Areas A and B also will remain at about $20,000.
Transit service for Clearwater and area will remain at $24,000 per year.
Mosquito control for Area A will go up five per cent to $160,000.
The cost of waste collection for Area B is projected to decrease 28 per cent, from $181,000 to $130,000.
Economic development and tourism for Area A is going up 13 per cent, from $83,000 to $94,000. In Area B, the same service is to be reduced by five per cent, from $115,000 to $109,000.
The TNRD budget for the Sportsplex is to go down four per cent, from $201,000 to $192,000.
Vavenby Community Hall will see some major spending this year, at $178,000, up 106 per cent from last year’s budget of $87,000. Next year’s budget for the hall will drop to about $30,000.
Spending for Upper Clearwater Hall will drop from $7,000 last year to $5,000 this year, and remain at that level for the five years. In 2010 the hall’s budget was $76,000.
Blackpool Hall’s budget is going down from $100,000 last year to a steady state $10,000 this year.
Blue River waterworks’ budget will decrease five per cent from $1.28 million last year to $1.22 million this year. Next year it will drop to a near steady state of $150,000.
Vavenby waterworks will see a 19 per cent increase, from $101,000 last year to $121,000 this year.