Kimberley Council still wrestling with budget

More efficiencies rather than tax increases needed, Mayor says

Kimberley City Council continues to wrestle with a very tight budget and the need to keep property tax increases as low as possible. Property taxes will go up 1.46 percent for the flume borrowing — that is a given. But how much more will they rise?

In January, Council directed staff to plan for an increase of no more than 3.46 percent, which would include the flume financing and a further two percent general tax increase.

The question is, how do you get there and still provide the services, facilities and maintenance work that taxpayers expect?

“We entered 2015 with a $1 million spending deficit in the general fund,” said Mayor Don McCormick. That number is what needs to be spent on roads on facilities.

“Scott (CAO Sommerville) and staff have it torn down to a bit more than $600,000. That means they did find almost $400,000 in efficiencies. They did a great job. There were a lot of gains made last year but there is still a ways to go.

“Council is reviewing all kinds of things right now, but we are nearing the end of the budget process.

“The easy thing to do is just keep raising taxes. I don’t think that is the way we should be doing things. I think we need to take a harder look at efficiencies and where we can transfer spending. But in fairness, it can’t all be done in one budget cycle.”