It’s not official yet, but North Cariboo residents will soon be paying more for recreation.
The Joint Planning Committee has unanimously endorsed a 3 1/2 percent increase, although it still has to be rubber stamped by the Cariboo Regional District.
Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says it is not a big increase…
“You’ll find it’s a very nominal amount. The 3.5 percent sounds big, but it’s such a big area with such a big assessment value, that it’s actually just a nominal increase.”
Based on the 2017 assessments, it is estimated that the increase will amount to roughly $5.20 per 100 thousand.
Simpson says the budget includes what he calls a leveling off of some services, namely paying for an Events Coordinator and a Trails Coordinator, which are now part of recreation…
“City residents still pay into the trails coordinator and the events coordinator, but instead of it just being through the city budget where they’re the only ones paying into it, rural residents also pay the same. And it’s justifiable because they are commonly owned facilities and its the entire Cariboo that benefits from it. Almost all of the trails will be in the rural areas, not in the city areas.”
Simpson says there was also a slight adjustment on the actual running of the recreation function, something the city of Quesnel does under contract…
“It hadn’t been looked at or rebalanced for a long time so the city residents were actually picking up double taxation if you will, because they get taxed for recreation just like the rural residents do, but then if some of our staff are working on the recreation function out of the normal tax budget for the city, that’s under the property taxes, so they’re kind of almost paying twice there.”
Simpson cautions however that these changes do not mean that CRD residents will be paying any more than the 3 and a half percent increase that City residents will also be paying.