Campbell River City Council agreed to a 9.97 per cent tax increase for 2023 after deliberating on the budget this week.
That would mean a $189 increase to an average Campbell River home valued at $716,000.
Veteran councillor Ron Kerr complimented staff on making this year’s budget deliberations the smoothest of the 12 or 13 budgets that he has worked on as a city councillor.
“I want to thank staff for working with council,” Kerr said, “especially the challenges of having half council brand new. It has been educational, and but I think it’s been a great process. I just want to thank everyone.”
Mayor Kermit Dahl agreed it was one of the seamless budget deliberations of the five he’s been involved in, attributing it to the city staff understanding the new councillors’ objectives.
“Similar to Coun. Kerr, although I haven’t been here for 12 or 13 budgets, this is my fifth one,” the mayor said. “And I felt that it went really well. And I think that’s due to staff understanding what council’s priorities were and building a budget that was very well focused on those priorities. So there wasn’t a lot of questions or things to move around. So I really appreciate that.”
Council went into this week’s budget deliberations with a proposed 11.27 per cent tax increase that was far beyond the 1.5-2.5 per cent increase that council policy allows but which wasn’t going to be possible due to a number of economic and financial impacts on the city’s operation. During discussions, a number of councillors indicated they would be comfortable with getting the increase under 10 per cent which they managed to do.
In a press release, Mayor Dahl said, “Budget deliberations are always tough and as a fellow Campbell River business and property owner I fully appreciate the impacts of a 9.97 per cent tax increase. I want residents to know that council did not make any budgetary decisions lightly and that throughout these discussions residents’ and community wellbeing were top of mind. High inflation, supply chain issues, labour market shortages and fixed increases to city contracts meant a tax increase was inevitable for 2023, however, I am proud of the work that staff and council completed to minimize the increase while also investing in major needs for the community.”
The budget is scheduled for three readings on March 30 and is expected to be adopted at the council meeting on April 13, 2023. It will be submitted to the province by May 15, as required under the Community Charter. The final 2023 Budget will be posted to the city website in the coming weeks to reflect the changes made during budget deliberations. While changes are being made, the Draft 2023 Budget continues to be available at campbellriver.ca/financial-plans. To watch the budget deliberation recordings, visit campbellriver.ca/webcasts.
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Campbell RiverMunicipal Governmentmunicipal politicsProperty taxes