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

More sailings coming to Haida Gwaii

The B.C. government says Haida Gwaii’s two BC Ferries routes are among… Continue reading

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Mold shuts down construction at QC supportive housing project

Construction of the new 19-unit modular housing complex in Queen Charlotte has… Continue reading

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

Broken axle caused New Hazelton train derailment: TSB

It could happen again without a different way to inspect trains

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

Most Read