Ucluelet adopted its 2021 financial plan and tax rates during the April 27 regular meeting.
The five year financial plan includes a one per cent municipal property tax increase for 2021. In 2020, the revised budget had a zero per cent increase to municipal taxation.
Ucluelet’s Chief Financial Officer Donna Monteith said the one per cent increase equates to about $30,000, which will help offset inflation in 2021.
“Property assessments has seen an increase in the Residential class over 2020. However, for the Business class the total assessed value has decreased. Since the important factor is how your assessed value has changes relative to the average change for your property class, we are seeing an average increase for Residential single-family homes of approximately $37, and an average decrease in the Business class of $55,” Monteith said.
The average market value assessment for a residential single-family home in 2021 is $425,495 with an average property tax levy of $1,304.66. The average market value for an Ucluelet business is $255,589 with an average property tax levy of $2,736.45.
Future years of the five year financial plan is based on a four per cent revenue increase in general municipal taxation each year.
“As with any municipality we face inflation and escalating costs, ageing infrastructure, and increased demands for service delivery. The District needs to continue to move forward with sustainable long-term funding to manage these things as well as balance the growing needs of the community. Operations are largely funded by taxation and regular tax increases are a part of that. We will continue to pursue other avenues such as sales of services and grants,” said Monteith.
The overall town budget for 2021 increased to about $16.3 million from about $10 million in 2020, generating a boost to all departments. Public works budget jumped from $1,805,239 million to $3,332,092 for 2021. The Water department saw the largest investment, jumping from a $1,211,419 budget in 2020 to $4,098,766 in 2021.
“The District has a number of projects within the five year plan. The parking lot on Cedar Road is slated to be open in June. We have received a grant from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program for Amphitrite Point, which includes renovating the lighthouse keepers house, and we have received a grant from the Provincial Tourism Dependent Community Fund to revitalize our downtown core, commonly known as Village Green. The District is also waiting to hear if a grant application for the Water Capacity and Filtration Improvements Project was successful,” said Monteith.
In February 2020, Ucluelet applied for a $7 million grant for water capacity and filtration improvements through Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Green Infrastructure: Environmental Quality stream. Council committed to fund $2.6 million of the estimated $9.6 million project, which includes a $2.6 million loan. If the water filtration grant is successful, the typical homeowner water bill would increase annually from $300 to $375 in 2025.
Monteith went on to note that the majority of capital projects are funded by a combination of Resort Municipality Initiatives, Gas Tax, and grant funding.
Anyone looking for detailed information on Ucluelet budgets and financial plans is encouraged to visit: https://ucluelet.ca/community/finance/2021-budget.
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