Queen Charlotte budgets to spend $3.4 million

  • Apr. 26, 2010 9:00 a.m.

By Heather Ramsay–The cost of water in Queen Charlotte is on the rise again. Chief financial officer Debra Uliana presented the 2010 budget and five-year financial plan at a public meeting Monday April 19. This year, the water frontage tax will increase to cover $67,000 in loan payment costs.Property assessments have also gone up 10 percent on average in Queen Charlotte, but because the municipal tax requisition is similar to last year, the village was able to reduce property tax rates by a tiny percent. So property taxes for many homeowners will remain the same.According to BC Assessment, the value of residential properties in Queen Charlotte increased from $54 million to $60 million in the past year.Ms Uliana said some assessments increased in value as much as 30 percent, so those property owners will notice an increase in their municipal taxes.Water user fees are also going up by 12.5 percent, said Ms Uliana. This translates to a monthly jump from $15.90 to $17.89 ($190.80 to $214.80 a year) for residents. Hotels, businesses and restaurants water fees will also increase.Ms Uliana gave an example of how the new tax rates will affect a home worth $223,400 in 2010 (up from $189,600 in 2009). Municipal tax will be $526, water frontage $533, sewer frontage $29 plus school, regional district, regional hospital, police and other taxes for an approximate total of $2,422. She used 2009 rates for these other tax estimates as she hadn’t received the new rates yet.In 2009, the same house would have paid $2,214. Most of the increase is due to the increased water frontage tax, but because this house’s value increase was above the average, the municipal tax also jumped from $494 to $526. The total tax requisition for the village is $487,832, including municipal and frontage taxes. The total user fees to be collected are $269,092. Grants and loans and a $61,000 transfer from the reserve will make up the rest of the $3,400,000 budget.Major expenditures planned for the year include finishing the Honna River/Stanley Lake Water project ($1.9 million budgeted), the Official Community Plan, Spirit Square, Community Park Phase 2, along with administration ($516,000), public works ($156,000), water and sewer and interest of the water project loan ($37,000). Ms Uliana reported that council will not receive any increase in remuneration this year, nor will employee salaries increase. The 2010 budget does include one additional employee hired in 2009, whose salary was subsidized last year.There were no major questions from the public at the meeting, she said, so the next step is that the tax rate, budget and the five-year financial plan goes to council in bylaw form.