City of Kimberley financial plan presented

The bottom line for Kimberley property owners, 3.46 increase for residential properties

The City of Kimberley 2016 to 2020 Financial Plan, with total expenditures and revenues, of $25.97 million was presented this week for public review and comment.

As always, there are plenty of interesting facts to be gleaned from the presentation, prepared by City Chief Financial Officer Holly Ronnquist.

Let’s start with the bottom line — how much more will city property taxes and services cost you in the coming year.

As previously reported, residential property taxes will rise 3.46 per cent this year. In that figure is 1.46 per cent for the flume borrowing and a two per cent increase to reflect the Municipal Price Index. The MPI reflects inflation on spending related to Municipalities (materials, professional services, contract services, insurance, debt costs). The MPI was created to ensure that tax increases due to inflationary costs are kept in line with MPI.

The projected property tax increase for this year in last year’s financial plan was 4.74 per cent. Council and staff were able to trim 1.28 per cent off that figure through budget deliberations.

Business and recreation tax class increases will be 2.46 per cent.

Council also voted four to three this year to reduce the flat tax by $80. Here’s how that change will play out.

There will be no effect for average single family home valued at $245,964 (the average price in 2015) other than the 3.46 per cent municipal tax increase estimated at $73.

A $150,000 home will see a municipal tax increase of $15 ($44 tax increase less $29 savings from flat tax reduction). A $700,000 home will see a municipal tax increase of $313 ($158 tax increase plus $155 increase due to flat tax reduction). Actual increases will vary depending on assessed value change from 2015.

The 3.46 per cent millrate increase  translates to $73.09 ($6.09 per month). That is $42.25 inflationary increase (MPI) and $30.84 Mark Creek Flume and Stream Rehabilitation Project debt costs. The Aquatic Centre flat tax remains the same at $152. Ten years remain on the construction debt for that project.

Now for utility costs. Quarterly increases for 2016 are $15.42. That’s $6.35 for water, $7.27 for sewer and $1.80 for solid waste. These increases are part of a Council plan to keep these funds sustainable as far as infrastructure renewal goes. There will be regular increases each year through 2020. Right now utility costs are $807.48 yearly. By 2020 that will have increased to $924.03.

Kimberley remains in line with other East Kootenay communities as far as total cost per household, including all taxes and fees. Kimberley $3,728 ($231,556 average price);  Cranbrook $3,533 ($254,413 average price);  Fernie $4,061 ($433,559 average price);  Invermere $3,966 ($404,032 average price); Nelson $4,132 ($322,353 average price) and  Rossland $4,050 ($250,992 average price). Fernie, Invermere and Rossland do not pay for policing costs, which cost Kimberley $2,350,821 per year.