City of Powell River Council has given first three readings to its annual property tax rate bylaw, stipulating how much taxpayers will pay based on the assessed value of their homes.
According to the proposed bylaw, reviewed at the city council meeting on Thursday, May 2, the residential tax rate for the city will be $5.1229 for every $1,000 of taxable assessed value. Additionally, the city will collect $0.6829 for every $1,000 for qathet Regional District and $0.1331 for Powell River Regional Hospital District.
The property tax schedule shows a business rate of $18.8457 for City of Powell River per $1,000 of assessed value. There are also categories for utilities, major industry, light industry, managed forest land, recreation and non-profit and farm.
According to a report to council from chief financial officer Adam Langenmaier, calculation of the tax rate to meet municipal revenue requirements is the final step of the annual financial plan cycle that includes several steps.
The first is the determination of expenditure needs. This include analysis and development of 2019 required operating budget and 2019 capital project costs. There is also identification of service level changes.
The second component is determination of funding sources to meet operational and capital requirements. These include fees and charges, grant opportunities, drawing from reserves, borrowing and property taxation.
The third is to calculate property tax rates, based on BC Assessment Authority property value assessment for general municipal purposes, and the municipality net taxation revenue to sustain service levels and meet legal obligations.
In terms of helping Powell River taxpayers better understand and calculate their tax assessments, councillor George Doubt said Langenmaier had created the Powell River residential property tax estimator. It is available now on the city’s website for residents to use.
Doubt said he tried it out to determine taxation information on his property, based on assessed value, to look at what the tax estimator does.
“It covers property taxes, utilities, school tax, the regional district and the hospital board taxes and other taxes,” said Doubt. “It gives you an idea of exactly what your increases are going to be on your property taxes this year. It has a link to the assessment system so you can find out what last year’s and this year’s property assessments were.
“It gives you an idea of what your property taxes are going to be after looking at your appropriate homeowner grant.”
Doubt said plugging in the information will result in the tax estimator showing the total estimated taxes from all sources. He said the program gives a bunch of interesting insights.
“I think it’s useful,” said Doubt. “People can look at what their entire tax bill is going to be. It’s a great tool.”
Mayor Dave Formosa said as a reminder, everyone comes to city hall to pay their taxes, and when the money is handed over, the city is also collecting on behalf of qathet Regional District, the province and School District 47.
“It’s not all coming from the City of Powell River,” said Formosa.
Final adoption of the annual property tax bylaw is scheduled for a special council meeting on Monday, May 13.
This story has been corrected. A previous version referred to Powell River Regional Hospital District as qathet Regional Hospital District.