San Group opposes move to increase light industry tax in Port Alberni

City council considers bringing light, heavy industry rates ‘into parity’ at 5.3%

The owners of a new remanufacturing plant and two sawmills in the Alberni Valley are asking city council to reconsider a proposal that would raise the light industry tax rate in 2021.

Port Alberni city council held a committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 16 to go over the proposed 2021-2025 financial plan.

Dennis Hickson, representing the San Group, appeared virtually before council to request that the city keep the 2021 light industry tax rate at or near the 2020 rate. He also requested that council revive a revitalization tax exemption bylaw for industry, which reduces the municipal portion of property taxes by reducing the assessment value instead of the tax rate.

READ MORE: San Group’s reman plant in Port Alberni weeks away from completion

In 2020, the light industry tax rate was around 2.14 percent, with the major industry tax rate at about 5.3 percent. Manager of Finance Andrew McGifford explained on Tuesday that, historically, the two industries have had similar rates in Port Alberni.

“In 2020, there was a change in the assessed value within light industry, so that’s the reason that it did drop down,” said McGifford.

In the proposed 2021 budget, the city is looking at blocking both industry classes together, bringing the light industry tax rate “up to parity” with the major industry tax rate.

Hickson said that within 35 other municipalities in the province, the average light industry tax rate is only about 2.13 percent.

“We feel there would be a clear disincentive for light industry players to invest in Port Alberni,” said Hickson. “It would send a signal that Port Alberni is not industry friendly.”

During the committee meeting, Mayor Sharie Minions expressed her support for the San Group, whose reman plant is located within city boundaries.

“We very much want to make sure that we are a community that recognizes when investment is made and looks to incentivize the right type of investment in our community,” she said. “We feel very strongly that the type of forest industry that the San Group is creating in our community is the type of industry that we want to see incentivized.”

She also added that she is a “big supporter” of revitalization tax exemption bylaws. According to Hickson, the city had a similar bylaw that was adopted back in 2006, but it lapsed sometime after 2010.

Minions said that council will continue to have more conversations about San Group’s requests throughout the budget process.

A public input meeting on the proposed budget is scheduled for Monday, March 1 at 7 p.m. Residents can register for the webinar on the city’s website at www.portalberni.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

budgetforestryPort Alberni

Just Posted

Port Alberni Fire Dept. deputy chief Wes Patterson, right, and another firefighter monitor the front of a garage at Second Avenue and Argyle Street that burned on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Fire starts in empty garage on Argyle Street in Port Alberni

Garage was attached to empty multi-storey commercial building

A painting by Port Alberni artist Robert Hall. Hall uses a technique called Abstract Impressionism. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
ARTS AROUND: Port Alberni artist showcases abstract impressionism

Robert Hall’s paintings on display at Rollin Art Centre until May 29

Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner Andrea Inness walks beside an enormous western red cedar stump in a BCTS-issued cutblock in the Nahmint Valley. (PHOTO COURTESY TJ WATT)
B.C. forestry watchdog finds lack of compliance in Nahmint logging

Forest Practices Board says old growth and biodiversity near Port Alberni are at risk

Rob Mah was just 20 when he hosted Strictly Jazz, a radio show on CJAV radio in Port Alberni, B.C. A fan of the Big Band era of music, he spun a lot of Dixieland jazz on his show. (PHOTO COURTESY MAH FAMILY)
QUINN’S QUIPS: Radio station’s 75th brings memories to Mah family

Celebrating the late Rob Mah’s victories timely for national Asian heritage month

Ken Rutherford, left, and Rick Lord of Port Alberni receive honours from the National Model Railroad Association—Pacific Northwest Region for 40 years of dedication to the preservation and presentation of railroad history. (PHOTO COURTESY PHYLLIS RUTHERFORD)
Model railroaders from Port Alberni honoured for rail preservation

Ken Rutherford and Rick Lord put on annual model railroad meet in Nanaimo for 35 years

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

A nurse asks screening questions at an immunization appointment in Nanaimo earlier this year. (Shawn Wagar/Island Health photo)
Island Health appreciates nurses answering the call in challenging times

Health authority draws attention to National Nursing Week

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Could Victoria skull fragment bring closure to an Island missing persons mystery?

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

Most Read