The City of Kimberley has completed their five-year financial plan and the community is invited to a public consultation session Monday, April 20, 2015 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers. At that time, residents can provide input. Written input will also be welcomed prior to the meeting.
The budget process is a long one, beginning almost immediately after Council was elected last fall and going through the winter. Much of the work was hammered out in Committee of the Whole meetings which were open to the public.
In the end, taxpayers in Kimberley are looking at property tax increases, though not as large as in the 2014 financial plan when residential taxes rose 4%.
The 2015 Financial Plan calls for a 3% increase on Residential Class taxes, and a 2% increase on Light Industrial, Business and Other and Recreation Class taxes.
The Business Class to Residential Class tax ratio for 2015 is 2.50:1.00, an increase from the 2014 ratio of 2.39:1.00 but still down from the high of 3.02:1.00 in 2008. The 2014 Provincial average was 2.61.
In her financial plan report, City CFO Holly Ronnquist noted that during deliberations for the 2015 – 2019 Financial Plan, Council engaged in several discussions regarding the reduction or elimination of the Flat Tax. However, the majority of Council supported no change to the Flat Tax system in 2015.
In 2015 the residential flat tax will remain the same at $786 for a residential property with improvements and $310 for a residential property without improvements. The Aquatic Centre parcel tax is increased to $152 in 2015.
The general municipal property tax increase for the average single family residence valued at $231,556 is estimated to be $60.35. The total general municipal tax (mill rate tax, flat tax and Aquatic Centre parcel tax) for an average single family residence in 2015 is estimated to be $2,223.95 before the Home Owner Grant ($6.09 per day) for all municipal services excluding water, sewer and solid waste.
In 2015, utilities will cost an average of $2.04 per day, quarterly $186.45, $745.80 for the year. In order to pay for infrastructure renewal, utilities are scheduled to rise each year. By the end of the five-year financial plan in 2019, utility costs will be $238.15 per quarter or $952.60 per year.
The City projects expenditures of $24,152,777 in 2015. This includes $2.3 million in general government expenses, $2.4 in protective services, $2.8 million in transportation and civic works and $2.7 in expenditures on water, sewer and solid waste.
See tomorrow’s Bulletin for more on the 2015 Financial Plan.