City Council gave the first three readings to its tax rate bylaw at this week’s meeting.
The end result is a 6.9 percent hike for 2022.
Mayor Bob Simpson says it is in line with other communities.
“The real tax increase in Prince George should be around 6.5, 6.6 percent, Williams Lake’s actual tax increase is around 9 percent, so we’re in the ballpark of everybody who is struggling with today’s prices and inflation.”
Councillor Ron Paull was the only one opposed to Quesnel’s tax increase.
“I would have voted for something around 5. I believe that we as a Council should reduce and not lead inflation, so that was point number one. Point number two was a number of weeks ago we did have the opportunity to reduce the tax increase to approximately 5 percent if the surplus was allowed to bring the tax increase down to that number, but instead the surplus was allowed to remain in the bank so to speak.”
Mayor Simpson says Council was concerned with inflation going into next year.
“That’s the part that Council wrestled with because we know inflation is unpredictable at this point. Right now it’s tracking at almost 2 percent per month, not 2 percent per year. So Council rightly decided to leave the tax increase as it is, as a hedge against that inflation so that we don’t then have to come back next year to do a catch-up. If the inflation isn’t as bad as we think it is, then there is some tax relief going into the 20-23 year.”
The average homeowner in Quesnel will be paying $95.32 more this year, which amounts to $32.21 per 100 thousand dollars worth of assessment.
Simpson says that number is also based on an increase in assessment of 28 percent.
“If you’re assessment is higher than that 28 percent, then you are going to pay more taxes, but it’s a function of my assessed value being higher. If your house is less than 28 percent increase in assessment, you will pay less taxes than last year.”
Commercial ratepayers can expect an increase of $151.72 per 100 thousand of assessment.
Council still has to give final approval to the proposed tax increase, but things rarely if ever change, after third reading.