The City of Campbell River has completed deliberations for its 2022 budget, which will include a 3.94 per cent residential tax increase.
Budget deliberations were held Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, 2021.
In the Nov. 29 budget meeting, city manager Deborah Sargent said three major circumstances impacted and influenced “every line item” on this year’s budget: the growth of Campbell River, impacts of the pandemic and inflation.
Over the last five years, the city’s population has grown by about 15 per cent, with the addition of about 1,100 new dwelling units, while COVID-19 has created uncertainty in supply chains, raised procurement costs, disrupted employment, and altered city service delivery, she said.
City council remains concerned about the pandemic’s financial impact on residents and local businesses, said Mayor Andy Adams, in a press release.
“Reflecting the challenges of the current economic environment, the 2022 budget balances revenue loss due to the global pandemic, increased financial pressure from inflation and the delivery of essential services to our growing community with increased new development revenue,” said Adams.
This new development revenue includes $300,000 in building permit revenue and ‘non-market change’ of $549,000.
“We are fortunate to have a strong residential building sector that provides building permit fee revenue and new construction revenue to the City; this helps with our base operating budget, and includes additional staff resources to manage the development applications, economic development and communications departments,” said Adams.
The 2022 budget includes $86 million for operations in 2022. It also provides $179 million in capital infrastructure funding over a 10-year period, including $98.5 million in renewal funding for aging infrastructure, funded by a 0.66 per cent incremental tax levy each year.
The budget includes a property tax increase of 3.94 per cent. This equals a $47 increase on an average-valued home (estimated at $622,000).
“This budget’s tax increase is a strategic step to ensure that the City continues delivering the services our community relies on and maintains the high degree of livability that’s contributing to Campbell River’s growth,” said Dennis Brodie, the city’s acting director of finance and chief financial officer, in the release.
According to the city, property taxes on an average home in Campbell River will remain in the mid-range of taxes province-wide, compared to other communities of similar size.
The budget contains several service enhancements, including new curbside organic waste collection. Funded service operating projects in 2022 include downtown events and initiatives and support for minor league baseball at Willow Point Park.
It also contains several capital improvement projects, including $5.4 million for the Campbell River Airport, $3.55 million for Sportsplex rehabilitation (including roof replacement), and $2.1 million for the Seawalk Walkway, to name a few.
There is also now $200,000 earmarked for cycling infrastructure improvements, as requested by the RCCC Cycling Advocacy Committee.
The budget is scheduled for three readings on Dec. 7. It is expected to be adopted at the Dec. 13 council meeting, in time for submission to the province before year-end.