Municipal tax rate doubles rate of inflation as city presents latest budget

Inflation and the pressure of salary costs left the city no choice but to increase municipal taxes by twice the average annual amount.

The city will raise its annual tax figure by 4%, nearly double its historic rate increase, city council approved Monday night, raising the average municipal tax increase by $110.

The city is also recovering from the 2020 zero tax increase as the city and the world battle the effects of COVID-19 virus-related shutdowns, city chief financial officer Colin McClure said.

“As we consider the proposal for a larger fee increase this year, a key fact to keep in mind is that over the past four years this council has been able to keep fees to less by 2% on average while maintaining and in some areas improving levels of service to the community,” he said in his report.

The total municipal tax, including the cost of resource recovery, will be $3,094 – up from $2,984 – for an average single-family home, or $110 more per year.

The city is also very active on the capital projects scene, McClure said, with more than $110 million on the way.

“Again, the city has a very ambitious capital plan for 2022, with a proposed value of over $23 million,” he explained.

Replacing the welcome sign in Nelson, improving wayfinding signage and restrooms and other improvements in Cottonwood Park start the list of capital projects.

These projects are in addition to the ongoing $1.2 million annual upgrades to paving and sidewalks, the completion of the pumphouse near Anderson Creek that will carry water through the pipeline installed in 2021 to the Mountain Station Reservoir.

“This will complete the $6 million grant-funded secondary source project that began in 2020 with the installation of waterlines along the rail trail connecting Selous Creek and the reservoir,” McClure said.

He characterized the cornerstone of the ‘Stores to Shores’ vision – culminating in the new and improved Hall St Pier and Ladybird facility – as one of the most significant projects of the year. As part of this, the city has already received $1.5 million in grants to fund the construction of a new waterfront pier and Ladybird display.

“With significant inflationary costs for steel, lumber and labor, a redesign was needed to help with the escalating costs,” McClure said. “The approved design will add what is believed to be a very popular option of a bathing area.”

Even with the new design, the rising cost of materials will require the city to add $1.1 million over two years to complete the new design.

Some of the city’s biggest capital projects — like the multi-year, $10 million Civic Center Renovation and Revitalization Project — are included in the budget but dependent on grants.

Other rates

In January this year, the council approved an increase in water and sanitary rates for all connected properties of a combined 1.75% – or $17 for a single-family home in 2021 – and $53 for a 50-seat restaurant. .

At that same meeting, the board approved a $25 increase in the annual residential resource recovery rate from $75 to $100. There was no increase in the $1.75 baggage tag fee.

The $25 annual fee increase is intended to help the city fund, with expected grants, a very ambitious, greenhouse gas-saving organics diversion plan that will use technology, through a food cycler.

“This tabletop machine will help manage food waste at the household level in a way that will limit the number of organic pick-ups per year from our community,” McClure said in his report.

Tax rates There was a 26% increase in residential assessment values ​​for 2022, while commercial assessments also increased by 23.5% from 2021.

The board’s objective was to maintain the same tax rate ratios as in previous years using the fixed portion approach – keeping the share of tax levied on each class of property constant, except when changes are due to non-market related changes such as growth.

The result is the same residential to commercial ratio of 74% and 24.5% of the total municipal tax burden, with utilities, non-profit properties and light industries combined making up the remaining 1.5%.

Source: City of Nelson Calendar

Five-year financial plan

The plan includes projected revenues and expenses for 2022-2026 that were presented to council and the public.

All proposed expenditures, funding sources and transfers to or between funds must be included in the plan.

Article 165 of the Community Charter requires that a financial plan be adopted annually, by regulation, before the adoption of the annual regulation on the tax rate.

Legislation implemented in 2008 requires the board to make explicit representations about each of the following:

– The proposed proportions of income to come from various funding sources;

– The distribution of property taxes between property classes; and

– The use of optional tax exemptions.

Source: City of Nelson

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Melissa C. Keyes