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SRD draft budget stays relatively stable

Total requisition down 0.33 per cent in draft document
The Strathcona Regional District is nearing the end of the budget process for the year. Photo by Marc Kitteringham / Campbell River Mirror

The property taxes in the Strathcona Regional District will be relatively stable across the board, with an average change of -0.33 per cent across the various communities.

On Wednesday Feb. 9, the SRD staff presented their draft budget to the board, which showed an overall change in the tax requisition of negative 0.33 per cent. However as with all government budgets, things are a bit more complicated than they seem.

The SRD is made up of four electoral areas, one Treaty First Nation and five municipalities, each of which have different tax requisitions depending on different services established for each area. That means each of the communities is going to be taxed differently.

The majority of that difference this year can be accounted for by changes in assessed property values, which shift the tax base around the region. For example, properties in Gold River had less of a percentage jump in residential home price than properties in Zeballos, which means that in 2022 more of the requisition will shift to Zeballos than it will to Gold River.

“Since Campbell River is so close to the average, it’ll see a very small impact,” said financial officer Mike Harmston during the Wednesday meeting. “About 80 per cent of that is just due to the assessment shift.”

Other changes that are beyond the control of the regional district can be attributed to changes between property classes. The industrial and commercial property values did not rise at the same rate as residential values did, which can change how much of the total pot is applicable to residences.

However, at the end of the day, homeowners in the regional district are going to see things stay relatively close to what they were last year. Campbell River is looking at an increase of roughly $7.58 per home. Gold River will see a decrease of roughly $0.99. Sayward will see a jump of $0.81 per home. Tahsis is looking at a drop of $1.86 per home. Zeballos will be up $2.84 per home. The Ka:’yu:k’t’h / Che:kt’les7et’h’ First Nation, which follows different assessment criteria, will be looking at a $6.53 drop per home.

Electoral areas will also see an overall change of negative 0.33 per cent in the total requisition. However their changes will be slightly higher because of the kinds of services provided to electoral area homes. Area A near Sayward will see an increase of $30.64. Area A near Kyuquot will be seeing a jump of $11.43. Area B has an increase of $47.35. Area C will see a $19.19 increase. Area D will have the highest increase at $61.89 over last year.

The budget as presented is still in its draft form and has not been approved. It will be coming back to the SRD board at its next meeting on Feb. 23.

RELATED: Residential tax rate in Campbell River to increase by 3.94 per cent in 2022

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