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Fort St. John
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
9924 101 ave Fort St. John, B.C.
Home News City cements tax rate increase

City cements tax rate increase


By Christine Rumleskie

Fort St. John residents will dish out 2.5% more on municipal taxes this year than in 2009.

But it could have been more, because City Staff initially recommended that the rate be increased by 3.55% at Monday’s Council meeting.

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The proposed leap was a result of changes to property assessment numbers. On April 1st, the B.C. Assessment Authority released its revised numbers. In total, Fort St. John residential properties decreased by more than $6 million.

If the property assessment numbers remained the same as they were in January, the City would have been safe to collect 2.5% more from residential property owners. But since many assessments decreased, the City needed to find a way to collect an additional $192,400 for its operational budget.

But Mayor Bruce Lantz said he wasn’t comfortable with springing an additional percentage point onto taxpayers.

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So, Councilors unanimously voted to increase the tax rate by 2.5%, and use funds from the Assessment Stabilization Budget to make up the $192,400 difference.

Money in the Assessment Stabilization Budget comes from surpluses in previous budgets, and acts as a safety net incase assessment numbers fluctuate.

However, Councilor Lori Ackerman says that money will need to be replaced as soon as possible.

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Lantz says if the City doesn’t have any surplus money to repay the Assessment Stabilization Budget, and requires funds in 2011, it will have to increase taxes.

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Mayor Lantz says the City hopes to repay the Assessment Stabilization Budget within a year.

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