Campbell River city council deliberated for three days this week on next year’s budget. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River residents will see 2.55% tax increase for 2019

After three days of deliberations, council finalizes city’s 2019 budget

As expected, the taxpayers of Campbell River are in for another base tax rate increase next year, but it’s not as high as it started out at the beginning of council’s three-day financial planning deliberations on Monday.

The week began with a proposed 2019 budget that would see tax payers get a 2.7 per cent tax hike next year, but council had the opportunity to bring that number down by using the money from its estimated non-market change revenue – basically, the money it receives from new development.

The estimate for next year is that the city will receive $450,000 from that revenue source – which could have been used to bring down the tax increase – but that money was eaten up by increased service level changes on the last day of the planning session, so council could only manage to get the tax increase down to 2.55 per cent.

In general, next year’s budget is made up of its base operating budget – the money the city needs to keep people employed, keep facilities open and maintain the level of services it already offers – along with approximately $17 million in work on capital projects like repairs to Centennial Pool, Willis Road, Highway 19A, a transit pullout at Carihi Secondary on Dogwood Street and an increased number of transit shelters, along with a few increased service levels.

Those include a new police officer for the Campbell River RCMP detachment, another building inspector to keep development happening efficiently and another raise for the community’s auxiliary firefighters to get them closer to the provincial average.

Mayor Andy Adams says while he would have preferred to see the tax increase come in somewhere around 2.25 per cent, he’s pleased with how council managed to work through the three-day planning session and keep their eye on the bottom line.

“I was looking at keeping things in line with the national rate of inflation, which is somewhere around 2 to 2.4 (per cent),” Adams said after the conclusion of the planning sessions Wednesday. “Personally, I was looking at about 2.25 (per cent) as the max, but it was the will of council and what they deemed important and that’s what we have collectively come to terms with.”

Coun. Claire Moglove, based on her closing remarks during the session, agrees with Adams about the tax rate, but she was also somewhat surprised at how much smoother the process is these days than when she was last on council four years ago.

“The process that you have developed is a significant improvement over the budget deliberations that we had when I was previously on council and I really, really appreciate the clarity of all the information presented,” Moglove said. “Would I prefer to have had the tax increase be less? Probably. But when you look at the inflationary pressures on the city in terms of how much extra it costs just to continue to deliver the existing services – and I think the services we have are appreciated by the vast majority of our citizens – so when we are able to keep the tax increase within reason, close to the rate of inflation, I think we’ve done a very good job.”

Coun. Ron Kerr agrees with Moglove that the process is very smooth these days.

“As much as financial planning can be considered enjoyable,” he said with a chuckle, “it really has been. I’d like to thank staff for their preparation and acting as a resource for us throughout the process. It’s been a very smooth process, much like our 10-year plan, which looks smooth, too. There aren’t the traditional ups and downs that we’ve seen over the years. There are a lot of new and exciting projects moving ahead and I’m looking forward to the coming year.”

Likewise, Coun. Colleen Evans says she, too, thinks they made the right decisions this week.

“I think where we came in (on the tax rate) was in the range I expected and I think we did a good job as a council to get to where we need to be,” Evans said. “I think we’ve made a lot of great decisions for our community and moved a lot of things forward that have been on our plate for a while.”

City staff will now draft a budget bylaw based on the decisions made this week to be presented at the Dec. 17 public meeting of city council for adoption.

Just Posted

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: North Island-Powell River candidates address other issues of importance

“Other than the topics already discussed, what is the most important issue in your constituency?”

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

‘Uninsured minor’ allegedly destroys Tyee Club property with truck

Youth flees scene, found nearby and now faces ‘numerous charges’

New lights at Maryland/Highway 19A intersection are now operational

A new set of traffic lights at at the Highway 19A and… Continue reading

Jesse Roper and Vince Vaccaro take Campbell River fans on a wild ride

Metchosin bluesman shows once again why he’s become one of our favourite performers

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Most Read