Skip to content

Council to consider tax bylaw

Draft document sets major industrial taxes at 225 million

City of Powell River council will consider a draft revitalization tax exemption bylaw that would apply for four years.

Dave Douglas, director of financial services, presented a report about the proposed bylaw at a recent committee-of-the-whole meeting.

City council adopted a tax revitalization bylaw that set 2011 major industry taxes at $2.25 million last October. The new draft bylaw contains the same formula for major industrial taxes.

The bylaw, permitted under the Community Charter, was one of the provisions contained in an agreement in principle (AIP) between the city and Catalyst Paper Corporation, signed in April 2010.

Douglas recommended a one-year term for the draft bylaw, which would apply in 2012, but a majority of councillors wanted to see a four-year bylaw.

Douglas said he was recommending one year because the city was in a similar situation as last year. “We’re still walking through the AIP stages,” he said. “We gave it one year for that reason last year.”

Councillor Chris McNaughton said during the discussion about the bylaw last year, council agreed to one year as the city walked through many of the AIP provisions. “But we did, I believe, have an intention after the one year to come back and take a look at a multi-year tax revitalization bylaw,” he said. “We’ve outlined, very clearly in our five-year financial plan, that intention and we’ve budgeted accordingly. I think what we’ve made a commitment to Catalyst on is that we would be looking at a five-year plan and that would give some tax certainty to them.”

Stan Westby, the city’s chief administrative officer, concurred with Douglas’s recommendation to consider the bylaw. “The proposed revitalization tax exemption program bylaw is consistent with the objectives and policies as set out in the city’s five-year financial plan bylaw, has undergone significant review by our lawyer and was originally prepared with the assistance of representatives from the ministry,” Westby wrote in the report.

In the end, the committee directed staff to prepare a four-year bylaw, which will be debated when it comes before council.