Ucluelet’s 2022 draft budget proposes an 8.07 per cent residential property tax increase plus an additional 3 per cent increase specifically for the Water Filtration Project.
Chief financial officer Donna Monteith presented an overview of the town’s five-year financial plan for
“We have to catch up for the rate of inflation. That was the major factor,” said Monteith during the Feb. 24 budget meeting.
In 2021, the average homeowner in Ucluelet paid about $320.91 per month for district provided services. According to BC Assessment, the average change in assessed value for a single-family home in Ucluelet went up by 43 per cent from 2021 to 2022.
“It does not mean that the municipal portion of your tax bill will increase by 8.07 per cent nor does it mean that your taxes will increase by 43 per cent. It’s all relative to your average change in your (property) class,” Monteith said.
During the March 15 regular council meeting, Monteith asked council to approve an additional 3 per cent increase to property taxes to help pay for the $13 million loan needed for the upcoming Water Filtration Project.
“Those extra taxes would go directly into the Water Capital Reserve Funds. I’ve suggested 3 per cent, which is only $96,000 spread out over all the property owners,” said Monteith, noting earnestly that council needs to start looking at other revenue sources.
“We need to start finding alternative ways to create revenue other than taxation. Whether it’s parking fees for visitors or speaking with our neighbours who are also using our water system or somehow re-directing tourism dollars to pay for the services that we are required to provide,” she said.
Ucluelet businesses will also be impacted by the proposed increase to district taxes.
Council went on to unanimously approve a 3 per cent property tax increase on top of the 8.07 per cent during the March 15 meeting.
Monteith will be presenting the proposed five-year financial plan and proposed property tax increase for first and second reading during the March 29 council meeting. A special meeting on April 7 is tentatively scheduled for third reading, which will include any revisions to BC Assessment.
The district is planning to have the
Public input for the 2022 budget process is welcome up until Wednesday, April 6 and can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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