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HomeNewsQuesnel City Council proposes large tax increase for 2020

Quesnel City Council proposes large tax increase for 2020

City Council endorsed an increase of roughly seven percent at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Mayor Bob Simpson is the Chair of the Finance Committee…

“On a percentage basis ya it’s a big number, on an average household basis it’ll be about 66-67 dollars.”

Simpson says roughly 20 dollars of that was simply to cover the cost of inflation.

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He says the rest was to pay for the things that people wanted…

“They want better public safety, they want really good snow removal, those are big ticket items, additional RCMP.”

Two additional RCMP Officers adds another 15 dollars to the bill and nine for additional bylaw officers and nine dollars to try to build up a snow reserve…

“It’s the worst possible thing to budget for because you can’t tell what that year is going to look like and particularly when you are above and below zero. This year we went from minus 42 to 8 above. How do you manage snow, snow melt, freezing conditions when you get that kind of a scenario.”

There is also a bump of three dollars per 100 thousand of assessment for tax shifting away from light industrial onto residential and commercial classes…

“Most communities will have light industry at or very close to commercial rates. Ours are quite a bit higher, and so things like Barkerville Brewery or United Concrete or C&C Wood Products are paying quite high tax rates. It’s also the area we believe that we can grow our employment base, so having a high tax rate in that light industry category puts us at cross purposes when other communities have lower rates of attracting light industry into the community and growing our employment base.”

The overall idea behind it is to lower the City’s reliability on industry.

The City had to dip into its tax stabilization reserve this year to offset the tax revenue that was lost by the closure of the Tolko sawmill.

The Operating Budget will come back to Council in the form of a bylaw to vote on in the spring.

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