Council increases tax rate by approximately 1.25 percent

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. –City Council approved a tax increase of approximately 1.25 percent.

After a follow-up presentation at the Committee of the Whole meeting, Monday, January 27th, 2020, by David Joy, General Manager of Corporate Services for the City of Fort St. John, Council chose Option 2 to increase taxes by approximately 1.25 percent out of three presented options.

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Council updated the recommendation as follows;

‘based on current preliminary assessment values which might change by April 2020, Council increased the tax rate by 1.25 percent to reflect the new employee health tax and to begin moving non-tax revenue from the operating budget as per Council policy.’

Council then scheduled a public meeting for Monday, February 10th, 2020 at 6:00 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall as an opportunity for the public to offer feedback on the draft Capital and Operating Budgets.

Joy’s presentation answered questions for Council and gave Joy the opportunity to make sure he had provided perspective, as he wanted to make everyone aware that the City has ‘held the line’ for the last four years even with an increase in services.

Joy expressed that implementing strategies needs to start now or transitioning will become harder in three-four years from now. To plan for the future as many things can happen from now to then.

One of the slides shown during the presentation highlighted Municipalities that compare to Fort St. John and Joy shared we are well below the average community, saying we are a financially healthy city with great options.

Ryan Harvey, Communications Coordinator for the City of Fort St. John shared, overall, there are two major financial steps for the ‘budget’:

  1. Council sets the financial plan, or budget, which lays out how much money the organization needs to provide the services Council has heard are valuable to our residents
  2. Once that is set, then, Council sets the tax rates by bylaw to raise the required taxation revenue

To view the presentation; CLICK HERE

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