City holds tax rate at 3.0

The city’s 2015-2019 financial plan is almost ready to be adopted following its third reading at city council on Monday, April 13.

The city’s 2015-2019 financial plan is almost ready to be adopted following its third reading at city council on Monday, April 13.

According to director of finance Cathy Rothwell’s report, the average home in Port Alberni will pay three per cent more in taxes this year based on an assessment value of $185,876. The residential tax increase hasn’t changed since the last time it was brought before council in March. The assessment for an average home in Port Alberni dropped from $187,064 in 2014, leading to a $2.6 million decrease in total assessed value for residential class properties despite $8.9 million in new residential construction.

The city is expected to collect about $21 million in property taxes in 2015. Residential properties will pay about 59 per cent of that total, while industrial properties will pay 23 per cent and business class properties will pay 17 per cent.

Large capital expenditures include repaving 220 metres of Ninth Avenue for $176,000 and 220 m of Argyle Street for almost $500,000.

Despite the continuation of the city’s commercial container garbage pickup being subject to heavy debate at earlier budget meetings and a 46 per cent drop in operating costs for container waste pickup, $315,600 for a replacement container garbage truck was included in the capital expenditure program.

Other large capital projects include $2.5 million for Dry Creek flood protection (one-third to be paid for by the city), $210,000 for Abbeyfield House roof replacement, $280,000 for the first phase of the Coal Creek sewer outfall and $173,000 for upgrades to the vehicle bridge over Kitsuksis Creek.

Street sweeping will be cut back by $25,000 and focused on main streets while only planters currently in storage in the city’s parks yard—no new items—will be installed along the Johnston Road corridor.

The adoption of the financial plan bylaw and the introduction of the tax rates bylaw is scheduled to take place on Monday, April 20 at 5 p.m. at city hall.

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