Proposed city budget available for review; rate increase proposed at 6% for residential

The proposed 2017 budget is now available for public review. Changes were made to proposed tax increases, with residential taxes being lowered to 6% from 7%.

Revelstoke city hall file photo.

The city’s proposed 2017 budget and five year financial plan is now available for public review.

City council briefly debated the Committee of the Whole’s recommended tax increases for both residential and business tax payers.

“We don’t give businesses a break on taxes by giving more to the residents,” said councillor Linda Nixon during the debate.

A decision was made to change the tax rates to 6% for residential and 4% for businesses. Previously, the committee, which is comprised of council, had previously recommended 7% and 4%.

The budget document notes residential tax increases have averaged 3% a year. The increase for non-residental properties has averaged at around 0.65%.

“Council has been sensitive to property tax increases for many years, by keeping them as low as possible,” the document reads.

Other highlights from the proposed budget and financial plan include:

-Water rates increased by 2.5%, sewer rates increased by 5.9%, and garbage service rates increased by 1.8%

-Additional RCMP member to be hired in the specialized position of General Investigation Services

-Wales Street lift station upgrades

-Big Eddy water upgrades & Thomas Brook water and sewer upgrades.

The public have until April 18 to provide feedback on the proposed budget. There will also be an opportunity to provide feedback at the April 25 council meeting.