Regional District taxes likely to rise

  • Mar. 5, 2008 2:00 p.m.

By Alex Rinfret–It looks like the regional district will be asking islanders for significantly more taxes and garbage fees this year to cover mounting expenses in the islands waste system. Directors gave first reading to a budget at their Feb. 22 meeting that will raise $1.1-million in taxes this year, 13 percent more than the $971,000 they ordered taxpayers to pay last year. Administrator John Holland is now revising this budget, so that figure may change. Directors will vote on a final budget at their next meeting later this month, Mr. Holland said. “The big issue is the solid waste system,” he said. “It’s in trouble, for sure.” According to the preliminary budget, the regional district is proposing to raise the amount contributed by the two band councils for the garbage system to $65,000 each. Currently Old Massett pays $55,000 and Skidegate almost $58,000. User fees will also be going up – the preliminary budgets projects that the regional district will collect almost 60 percent more in user fees in 2008 than it did last year. The biggest additional expense the garbage system will incur this year is opening a new area of the landfill, projected to cost $100,000. The preliminary budget also includes new money for an additional person to work at the landfill, Mr. Holland said. But much of the additional taxes and fees will simply to go covering the deficit the system has incurred in the past couple of years. In 2007, the islands garbage system cost approximately $200,000 more to operate than there was to cover it, and there is a shortfall from previous years which brings to total deficit to $260,000. At the same time, some regional district directors believe they should be paid more. Mr. Holland has included in the preliminary budget a pay hike of $1,500 per year for each of the four electoral area directors, including Area D director Ian Hetman and Sandspit director Travis Glasman.Mr. Holland said the electoral area directors tend to have more to do than the municipal representatives, because they are the only local government representative for their area. Currently, all 10 directors on the regional district board receive remuneration of $7,878 annually, plus $150 per board meeting attended. The chair receives an additional $5,890 and the vice-chair an extra $1,560. Directors can also receive $75 for attending committee meetings (although Mr. Holland said they sometimes do not collect this), and receive per diems when they attend business out of town. The total budget for the 10 directors, including their remuneration, travel, per diems and health insurance, comes to $193,000.

Just Posted

Masset fishing derby proves to be a catch

All ages participated in the competition to bring in the top salmon and halibut hauls

Yarn Bombing mastermind is back in town

Big Canada Day longweekend in the works

Maritime Museum project receives legacy grant

A special project of the Dixon Entrance Maritime Museum Society has been… Continue reading

Richardson Ranch celebrating 100 years of family and ranching in Haida Gwaii

Tlell Polled Hereford’s continue to win awards while the ranch becomes a popular spot for visitors

Sustainble economy flourishing in Haida Gwaii and Great Bear Rainforest thanks to First Nations investments

From 2008-2018, funding initiatives led to more than $286 million in new investments

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Family frustrated Terrace dad with advanced cancer must wait weeks for treatment

‘We can see his health declining every day,’ daughter says

Most Read