Budgets compared: paying taxes in Masset, Port and Charlotte

  • Apr. 29, 2009 6:00 a.m.

By Alex Rinfret–Are you wondering how your village’s budget compares to the other municipalities on the island? This is the time of year when municipalities are preparing their 2009 budgets. One of the most important decisions councils make during the budget process is how much property owners will pay in taxes. After council adopts the budget, staff prepares tax notices, which property owners receive in early June. Owners then have until July 1 to pay their property taxes. So, how much will residents of the different villages be paying this year? Port Clements’ total tax requisition is $122,000 (no increase from last year), Queen Charlotte’s is $256,000 (up 3.7 percent) and Masset’s is $530,000 (up by about 3 percent). Masset administrator Trevor Jarvis said his village’s tax requisition total includes grants in lieu taxes of about $30,000, which the other villages recorded on a separate line. That would make Masset’s requisition approximately $500,000. To further compare the villages, we took the total property tax requisition and divided it by the population of each village, based on the 2006 census figures. This is simply for comparison purposes and does not reflect anything about actual property taxes, which are based on property values. Here’s what we found:. Queen Charlotte, with a population of 948, will collect $270 per person this year.. Port Clements, with a population of 440, will collect $278 per person this year.. Masset, with a population of 940, will collect $532 per person this year.We asked Mr. Jarvis why Masset’s tax requistion is higher than the other two villages, because there could be a good explanation, but he said he had no idea. “I don’t look at their financial plans at all,” he said. It’s also possible to compare the tax rates of the villages (these rates are draft rates until council gives them final approval). Port residents will pay $4.75 per $1,000 of assessed value on residential property, while Queen Charlotte residents will pay $2.60, and Masset residents will pay $6.22. Although Queen Charlotte’s tax rate is lower, houses in Charlotte generally have higher assessed values than houses in Port. That means Queen Charlotte can raise just as much money, or more, with a lower rate. (This is why it is not that meaningful to compare tax rates between municipalities, unless property values are very similar.) Basically, if you own a house worth $100,000 in Queen Charlotte, you will pay $260 in municipal property tax this year. If you own a $100,000 house in Port, you will pay $475, and if you own that house in Masset, you will pay $622. However, your actual tax bill will be higher because it includes other taxes, like education; the tax you pay could also be lowered if you are eligible for the homeowner’s grant. Besides residential property tax, the villages also collect taxes on properties in other categories like business and industrial. Like most municipalities, the villages on the island charge a higher rate in these other categories. Exactly how much higher is another important decision that councils make. For example, if you own business property in Queen Charlotte, you will pay a tax rate of $7.68 per $1,000 of assessed value this year, or about three times the residential rate (again, this rate is a draft rate until council gives it final approval). In Port, you will pay $9.50, twice the residential rate. In Masset, you will pay $15.24, about two and a half times the residential rate. If you own light industrial property in Charlotte, you will pay a rate of $14.09 this year – over five times the residential rate. In Port, which does not charge any category more than twice the residential rate, you will pay $9.50. And in Masset, you will pay $21.15. The numbers referred to in this article have been rounded off and are taken from the villages’ 2009 financial plans, which are available at the municipal offices. All three villages have given three readings to their plans at this point, but it’s possible for councils to change the budgets up until they give them the final reading. In Queen Charlotte and Port, council plans to give final reading on May 4; in Masset, on May 11.

Just Posted

Wet’suwet’en clan launches civil lawsuit against Coastal GasLink

Gidimt’en seeking damages and costs over destruction of logging road encampment and gate

New record set at Totem to Totem marathon

Thomas Nichini of Vancouver breaks marathon mark, while Tlell’s Brionne Lavoie wins men’s 10 km

RCMP searching for missing Lax Kw’alaams resident

Public urged to help in search for 42-year-old Lawrence Maitland

Queen Charlotte highlights the year that was in 2018 Annual Report

A number of works projects were completed, as well as improvements at the youth centre

Boon Docs, life as a rural doctor tickles the funny bone

Haida Gwaii’s Caroline Shooner draws observations from the medical field

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Weather Network’s anti-meat video ‘doesn’t reflect true story’: cattle ranchers

At issue is the video’s suggestion that cutting back on meat consumption could help save the planet

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in B.C.

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Horgan hints at Daylight Saving Time changes after record survey response

More than 223,000 online surveys were submitted in the government’s public consultation

Coroner investigating after body recovered from Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Overdoses overwhelming in B.C. Interior

Part two: Who’s affected by the current opioid crisis

Most Read