Council to consider zero per cent municipal property tax collection adjustment

At the regular meeting on Tuesday, April 14, City Council will consider options for a zero per cent municipal tax collection adjustment for 2020.

At the April 6 special budget meeting, council approved changes to the 2020 base operating budget that necessitated a 1.35 per cent increase to the 2019 municipal property tax collection. However, since then Kimberley’s Chief Administrative Officer requested a report be prepared to discuss the consideration of reducing the 2020 municipal tax collection adjustment to zero per cent.

The purpose of this would be to provide some financial relief to property owners who are experiencing financial strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic issues.

The above-mentioned 1.35 per cent increase would result in revenue of $139,559 this year. Reducing it to zero would mean that either previously-approved operating costs would need to be reduced by $139,559 or an alternative source of revenue would need to be found to replace that number.

Council will discuss four options for how to achieve that target.

The first would be to review adjustments to the 2020 general operating base budget presented at the special budget meeting, and, if possible reconsider their approval for inclusion in the 2020 to 2024 Financial Plan Bylaw.

The second option is to have council provide direction to city staff to identify ways of reducing service levels to save the city $139,559 this year.

Thirdly they will consider transferring that amount from past years Accumulated General Operating Surplus to fund general operating costs that would have been paid for with the 1.35 per cent tax collection increase. Previous direction from Council results in 50 per cent of the excess of general revenue over general expenditures in any given year being directed to the Accumulated General Operating Surplus to a maximum balance of #1.35 million, with the remainder being transferred to the General Operating Capital Reserve.

The balance of the Accumulated General Operating Surplus is currently at the established maximum of #1.35 million and as it is accumulated surplus, these funds are not earmarked for anything in particular and are available to fund unanticipated general operating expenditures.

They could also consider an option that combines the previous three.

“Unlike provincial and federal governments, local government has the least amount of flexibility in being able to provide any kind of financial latitude to our taxpayers,” Mayor Don McCormick said.

“The only thing we really have the opportunity to do is to defer certain payments, but it is a deferral which means that entire amount is owed sooner or later, so unless someone has extreme cashflow difficulties in the short term, it’s not advisable to defer because the bill just keeps getting bigger. So it will work for a select number of taxpayers but certainly not for everybody.”

The Council agenda acknowledges that while these are unprecedented times and that it would seem prudent for the City to do what it can to limit the financial burden that the 2020 property tax bill would place on property owners, council “can’t lose sight of the future impact that these measure will have on those same taxpayers.”

A zero per cent municipal property tax adjustment in 2020, combined with previously approved financial relief measures would require an estimated municipal property tax increase of more than five per cent in 2021. It would also include an Aquatic Parcel Tax increase of roughly $22 next year to fund services at the level anticipated prior to the adjustments being made.

A rough estimation of the impact of these adjustments on the taxes paid by an average single family residential home owner would combine to about $140.



paul.rodgers@kimberleybulletin

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kimberley RCMP pick up another early morning impaired driver

Another impaired driver has been picked up by Kimberley RCMP, this time… Continue reading

Kimberley Independent School students go seriously green

Huge garden and tree project undertaken by students, teachers

PHOTOS: Momma black bear and cubs spotted in Townsite

A momma black bear and her two cubs, spotted getting near The… Continue reading

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

Playgrounds and public washrooms to reopen in Kimberley Friday, June 5

This Friday, June 5, 2020, the City of Kimberley will re-open more… Continue reading

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Kelowna Mountie on desk duty following ‘aggressive’ arrest

The officer involved in an arrest that took place on May 30 in Kelowna has been placed on administrative duties

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Protests shift to memorializing George Floyd amid push for change

‘There is something better on the other side of this,’ says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Columbia Basin Trust expands programming to support businesses

The revised programs will help local businesses to reopen and modify operations

Limit gun capacity to five bullets, victims group urges Trudeau government

Current limits are generally five bullets for hunting rifles and shotguns and 10 for handguns.

Most Read