Municipal taxes increasing by three percent in Port Alberni

Mill rate reduced to compensate for increased property values

Residential taxpayers in Port Alberni can expect to see their municipal taxes increase by three percent in 2018.

For 2018, Port Alberni city council has approved an overall increase of three percent for city taxes, as per the objectives laid out in the 2018-2022 draft financial plan. Council has planned for an annual increase of three percent per year for residential taxpayers, as the city shifts its reliance on industrial tax revenue and focuses on infrastructure renewal.

READ: City of Port Alberni sticks to three percent

However, the city is reducing the mill rate in 2018 in order to compensate for an increase in property values.

Council gave three readings to a bylaw that will establish tax rates for property value in the city during a regular meeting on Monday, April 9.

Director of finance Cathy Rothwell provided a draft bylaw to council on Monday, along with a report that shows the average single family residential property in the city is assessed at $247,138 for 2018. This is an increase of 22 percent from 2017.

“It is [an extraordinary increase] in recent memory,” said Rothwell. “Most of the Island went up around 20 percent. So we’re right in that grouping.”

Taxes collected by the city will not increase by the same rate because the city has compensated for this increase by reducing the mill rate from around $9.20 per thousands dollars of assessed value to around $7.80.

Final numbers for residential taxpayers are not yet known. City CAO Tim Pley pointed out that this report only includes the city taxes. The city will also collect taxes for other governments and jurisdictions, including schools taxes, and the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District and Hospital District.

These will be included on the final tax notice provided by the city.

Council is required by the province to impose property value taxes by establishing tax rates prior to May 15 each year. Council introduced and read the bylaw three times on Monday—it will be finally adopted at a future meeting of council.

COUNCIL WATCH…

Keep an eye out for these upcoming stories from Monday night’s council meeting:

No bike path

Port Alberni is out of the running for a BikeBC grant that would have ended in separated bike lanes along either side of Stamp Avenue. Director of development services Scott Smith determined that the cost would exceed the grant, and the city would be required to fund the almost $800,000 surplus themselves.

McLean Mill AGM

The McLean Mill Society will be holding its annual general meeting on Thursday, April 30 at the mill site at 4:30 p.m. Society president Bill Collette said he hopes there is interest from the public.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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