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CFO outlines tax rates for City of Powell River

Councillors give first three readings to bylaw that sets amounts to be paid by taxpayers
THREE READINGS: City of Powell River chief financial officer Mallory Denniston reported annual property tax rates for as proposed under a bylaw during the April 18 council meeting. Municipal taxes on an average single-family dwelling are scheduled to increase by 6.8 per cent over the 2023 amount.

City of Powell River Council has given the first three readings to the annual property tax rates bylaw, which would see total municipal taxes increase by 6.8 per cent.

At the April 18 council meeting, chief financial officer Mallory Denniston said she was summarizing the 2024 annual property tax rates report, which recommends the city annual property tax rates bylaw be read a first, second and third time.

Denniston said the city started its financial planning process in August 2023 and there have been several meetings, a public open house, and an online survey to inform the process. She said on March 21, the property tax rates were first presented, based on the completed assessment rolls from BC Assessment.

“At this March meeting, council gave direction to prepare for the property tax rates bylaw, based on the results and rates presented in a report and adjusted for any changes resulting from the receipt of the revised assessment roll,” said Denniston. “Staff have since received the revised assessment roll, which was adjusted by BC Assessment based on the results of property appeals and small error corrections.

“I am happy to report that there are no significant changes to the assessment role, with only a couple of changes outlined in my written report. The impact of the property tax rates proposed in March is therefore nominal.”

Denniston said property taxes will be levied on the property tax notices, which has two types of charges. She said there are municipal and non-municipal charges. The municipal portion consists of property taxes, parcel taxes and user fees, and the non-municipal portion is property tax the city collects on behalf of other authorities and then remits to those authorities, according to Denniston.

“These authorities support the community in other ways, providing services such as solid waste disposal, emergency management, hospitals, schools and health, to name a few,” said Denniston. “We’ve now received the property tax requisitions and rates from these other authorities.”

Denniston said the property tax rate for an average single-family dwelling would be $2,579, which is an increase of $174 from 2023, or 7.2 per cent. With the flat tax, sewer charges and user fees calculated, they would pay $3,732, which is an increase of $237, or 6.8 per cent, according to Denniston. She said this is for the municipal taxes, which accounts for about 69 per cent of the total tax notice. The remaining 31 per cent is the non-municipal portion, which totals $1,647 for an average single-family dwelling, which is an increase of $258 over 2023, or 18.5 per cent, according to Denniston.

qathet Regional District taxes for an average single-family dwelling in the city have increased from $388 in 2023 to $510 in 2024, for an increase of 31.6 per cent, according to Denniston’s report to council.

qathet Regional Hospital District taxes have increased from $90 to $209, for an increase of 132 per cent, the report stated. Fees for the Municipal Finance Authority and BC Assessment Authority have dropped five and two per cent respectively. School tax has gone up from $890 in 2023 to $907 in 2024, for a 1.9 per cent increase.

Total tax notice for an average single-family dwelling in the city has gone up from $4,885 to $5,379, for a variance of $494, or 10.1 per cent, before the homeowner grant or seniors discount, according to the report.

There were no questions from councillors to Denniston after her presentation. Council then carried the first three readings of 2024 property tax rates bylaw unanimously.

Denniston said the next step in the process would be for the tax rates bylaw to be adopted on May 2. After that, it will be sent to the ministry of municipal affairs, along with the audited financial statements and the adopted bylaw for the five-year financial plan.

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