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HomeNewsLower taxes or build up reserves-Quesnel Council wrestles with what to do...

Lower taxes or build up reserves-Quesnel Council wrestles with what to do with surplus

Director of Finance Kari Bolton delivered the good news about a surplus for 2022 at Tuesday (March 28) night’s City Council meeting.

She also made a suggestion on what to do with the money.

“After operating capital carry forwards the general surplus for 2022 is $584,273.  During the strategic planning and financial planning Council talked about two funds that need some more funds.  The recommendation from staff is that Council allocate the 2022 surplus as follows, 50 percent to the Tax and Community Stabilization Reserve and 50 percent to the Capital Reinvestment Reserve.”

Councillor Martin Runge wanted to return a portion of it, 100 thousand dollars, to taxpayers.

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“I believe the extra tax income for inflation that we put into our budget last year, if there would be any way to return some of that to lower taxes for this year because it was something that we taxed for that didn’t happen, so maybe return that and then do the 50-50 as discussed.”

Bolton noted that most of the 245 thousand dollars that was added was used.

She also talked about some of the challenges that that might pose.

“If we use any of the surplus to reduce taxation it means next year we’ll automatically have an increase of the amount that we use to reduce surplus.  It’s Council’s choice but there is that implication for next year’s budget.  Next year we will also be negotiating with CUPE for a new contract, so there might be some heavy hits to next year’s budget.”

In the end, Runge was on his own and Council opted to put half of the surplus into the Capital Reinvestment Reserve and the other half into the Tax and Community Stabilization Reserve.

Putting the money towards taxes would have lowed a proposed 5.3 percent tax increase by about half a percent.

Bolton estimated that it would mean a reduction of about 5 dollars to the average homeowner.

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