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Five-year financial plan and tax rates for Powell River nearing finalization

To meet provincial requirements, council will have to pass the bylaws in May.
FINANCIAL PLAN: Councillor and finance committee chair George Doubt outlined taxation for city properties during the April 15 city council meeting.

City of Powell River council recently gave the first three readings to the five-year financial plan bylaw and annual property tax rates bylaw. To meet provincial requirements, council will have to pass the bylaws in May.

At the April 15 council meeting, regarding the five-year plan, councillor George Doubt, who chairs the finance committee, said the plan has been prepared and is required by the Community Charter.

“We have to have a five-year plan and we have to adopt it annually,” said Doubt. “Before the annual property tax bylaw is adopted, there needs to be a process of public consultation, which has happened.”

Doubt said the five-year financial plan bylaw has a couple of schedules. The first outlines revenues, expenses, transfers and acquisitions in the plan in some detail and the second goes into funding sources, municipal property taxes, fees and charges, government transfers and other revenue, he added. It also talks about borrowing proceeds and distribution of property taxes between various types of properties.

“It’s interesting reading for anyone who wants to do it,” said Doubt. “There has been a long consultation process and we’re getting it done in the timeline required.”

Council gave unanimous approval for the first three readings of the five-year financial plan bylaw.

Council then considered the annual property tax rates bylaw.

Doubt said this bylaw talks about the assessment of property taxes on the general value of land and improvements taxable for the municipality. Doubt said a schedule attached to the proposed bylaw outlines the 2021 property tax rates. He added that the bylaw also deals with the flat tax rate, which is $115 on each parcel of land, down from $180 in 2020.

The schedule for the property tax rates bylaw specifies the city, qathet Regional District and Powell River Regional Hospital District taxes for nine different property classes, including: residential, utilities, supportive housing, major industry, light industry, business, managed forest land, recreation/nonprofit and farm.

For residential property, Doubt said if the bylaw passes, the city rate will be $5.54 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value of the property; the rate will be 72 cents per $1,000 for the regional district; and 16 cents per $1,000 for the hospital district. Doubt said based on one’s property assessment that each property holder will have received from BC Assessment Authority, taxpayers can apply the multiplier to estimate their tax assessment from the three taxing authorities.

Councillors gave unanimous approval for the first three readings of the property tax rates bylaw.