Dr. Stanley Hamilton was back before city council on Monday, making a number of recommendations regarding the city’s tax ratios.
The independant tax policy review commissioner began by recommending that the tax rate for light Industrial properties and the business community be decreased.
Dr. Hamilton says light industrial properties in Fort St. John currently pay 5.8 times what residential property owners do, and he suggested dropping that closer to 3 times. He also suggested lowering the business community’s tax burden to from 2.97 times, to 2.7 times the residential burden.
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Now, in order to make up for the shortfall, Dr. Hamilton is recommending the residential tax rate would have to go up. An early estimate suggests residential property owners would see their taxes go up by $6.35 in the first year, and $19 over three years, to compensate for the decrease in light industrial taxes.
To compensate for a decrease in the business tax ratio, residential taxes would go up $31.03 in the first year, and $124.53, by the fourth year.
Note – we have kept those numbers seperate, as Dr. Hamilton says the light-industrial ratio and the business ratio should be dealt with seperately, and the light-industrial ratio is the more pressing matter.
The other recommendations Dr. Hamilton made surround the current major industry policy, a boundary extensions policy, and the removal of the current parcel tax.
All of these recommendations will be considered by Council and Staff at a later date, with the 2009 budget to be finalized by May 15th.