Campbell River taxpayers should actually see lower tax bills in 2021 than in 2020 after city council gets the municipal tax increase down to 1.95 per cent, once waste management and hospital requisitions are taken into account. (Black Press file photo)

Campbell River taxpayers should actually see lower tax bills in 2021 than in 2020 after city council gets the municipal tax increase down to 1.95 per cent, once waste management and hospital requisitions are taken into account. (Black Press file photo)

City of Campbell River gets 2021 tax increase down to 1.95 per cent

Combined with hospital and waste management fees, taxpayers actually pay less overall than in 2020

The average homeowner in Campbell River can expect actually see a smaller total at the bottom of their municipal tax bill in 2021 than they did this year.

Campbell River city council gave first three readings to their 2021-2030 financial plan on Dec. 9, but not before councilors found a way to lower the municipal tax increase by almost another full percentage point, getting it down to 1.95 per cent.

At the end of its three-day financial deliberations back in late October, council couldn’t manage to get the tax increase below 3.5 per cent. They considered this too big a burden on the taxpayers, so they sent staff away to find more savings.

Staff came back at the Nov. 30 meeting with a proposal that would see the tax rate increase only 2.78 per cent – which was below the 2.85 requested by council. They acheived this by using some of the city’s $4.6 million provincial COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant money, which was announced after financial planning deliberations.

Council then decided at the Dec. 9 meeting to use more of that provincial grant money to completely cover the airport operations deficit for next year, further lowering tax rate increase to 1.95 per cent.

Mayor Andy Adams says that when that between that tax rate increase and the expected lower requisitions from both Comox Strathcona Regional Waste Management and the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District, the average homeowner in Campbell River should see a savings on their tax bill next year.

“I think what we have done on behalf of our taxpayers is where we all wanted to be,” Adams says. “That’s to provide as good a break as we could, and there is additional relief coming from reductions in the regional hospital board and regional solid waste services, as well, that will be of further assistance to our residents.”

The 2.78 per cent increase they approved at the Nov. 30 meeting would have equated to a $59 per year increase for the average home – assessed at $442,000 – and with the change to a 1.95 per cent increase, that amount is lowered to approximately $41.

Adams says the amount CSWM will be charging Campbell River residents is expected to come in at $16 less than last year and the amount CSRH is requisitioning is expected to come in $64 lower, for a total of $80 less coming out of Campbell River taxpayers’ pockets for those services.

He admits, however, that the low tax increase this year could come back to bite taxpayers down the road.

“Anytime you are having a tax rate [increase] that is less than the rate of inflation – or at least less than the highest cost to the city is increasing, and that’s our collective bargaining agreements – there is the risk that you’re encumbering future councils to make up that difference.”

He thinks it was worth it in this case, though.

“These are extraordinary times that are calling for extraordinary measures to provide relief to our citizens, and I appreciate council working through this to be able to get there,” Adams says. “We still have a lot of work to do, and that work will continue when we delve into our strategic plan in the first quarter and also take a look at the remaining $3 million in restart money and determine how we are going to strategically use that to ensure operations of the city and protection of our citizens.”

The budget is expected to be officially passed Dec. 14.

RELATED: City uses pandemic grant to lower tax increase

RELATED: City sets priorities for 2021 capital plan



miked@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Campbell Rivertaxes

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

Just Posted

Some bystanders with fire extinguishers helped keep the fire under control. Photo courtesy Suzie Thomas
Bystanders keep fire from spreading near McIvor Lake turnoff

‘Just be vigilant and careful,’ says Campbell River fire chief

The Pier Street Farmers Market will once again take up residence on Sundays from May to Septmber at the parking lot across from the Community Centre in downtown Campbell River for 2021. Mirror File Photo
Pier Street Farmers Market returns to Cedar Street parking lot for 2021

…and it’s hoped that the addition of artisans this year will make it even better

Some recommendations from the Downtown Safety Select Committee have been approved by Campbell River City Council, including removing the glass stage covering at Spirit Square. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Council going ahead with removing Spirit Square stage covering

But mayor acknowledges need for ‘welcoming, warm place with support services’

A small fire on North Rendezvous Island is the first wildfire of the season in the Campbell River area. Officials are asking people to take caution when burning during these dry conditions. BC Wildfire Dashboard
‘Conditions are tricky at the moment’ warns Coastal Fire Centre

Small fire on North Rendezvous Island first of the season for Campbell River area

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Rules against RV living hard on Island residents caught in housing crunch

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Most Read