Taxes up, down as Regional District passes budget

  • Apr. 2, 2008 2:00 p.m.

by Alex Rinfret-The regional district has adopted a budget which will raise property taxes slightly in Masset and Port Clements, lower them in Sandspit and Area D, and keep them at the same level in Queen Charlotte. The budget approved by directors Friday in Prince Rupert does not raise taxes as high as had been suggested in a draft budget presented in February. At that time, the board was considering an overall 13 percent tax hike, mostly to make up a $260,000 deficit in the islands garbage system. But directors made several changes to the budget to avoid a large tax increase. They will not be hiring an extra person to work at the islands landfill site, they will spread dump closure costs evenly over the next five years, and will reduce the $260,000 deficit over the next three years instead of all this year. Directors also decided to increase some revenues. Property owners will pay $22 per month in garbage fees, up from $17 per month, starting April 1. The regional district has also upped tipping fees at the transfer stations and landfill. The Old Massett village council and Skidegate band council, which pay an annual amount to the regional district for garbage services, will be paying much more this year and in the future. According to the budget, Old Massett’s contribution is going up to $76,560 from the $55,050 it paid last year, while Skidegate’s jumps to $93,450 from $57,762. The budget commits $35,000 to recycling on the islands this year, almost the same amount as last year, as well as $6,800 for recycling bin replacement and $11,000 for trailer replacement. Overall, the budget calls for expenditures of $855,000 on the islands waste system this year – less than the $889,000 spent in 2007. Regional district administrator John Holland said the changes mean the garbage system deficit won’t be wiped out this year, but that overall, property taxes will not be going up. The budget calls for a total tax requisition of $843,000, down from last year’s requisition of $971,000. (This is the total amount that taxpayers across the regional district will contribute. Individual taxpayers will be affected differently by the budget depending on where they live and how their property assessment compares to changes in assessments across the regional district. Also, regional district taxes are only one portion of total property taxes, which will also include municipal taxes and school taxes.) The regional district taxes pay for the islands garbage system, the QCI Recreation Commission, and provide grants for the three museums on the islands. They also go towards running the regional district office in Prince Rupert and pay the remuneration and travel expenses of the directors. Sandspit residents will be paying more this year to cover an $11,000 deficit in their new water system, Mr. Holland said. Homeowners will see their parcel utility tax go up by about 30 percent, and mobile home residents will pay $234 for water services this year, up from $178 last year. This charge is separate from the general tax requisition. The budget also increases remuneration for the four electoral area directors, including Area D director Ian Hetman and Area E director Travis Glasman, by $1,500 per year. The area directors had said they deserved more money because the six other directors also collect remuneration from their municipalities. Directors receive just under $8,000 per year, as well as $150 for each regional district meeting they attend; the chair and vice-chair receive additional amounts.

Just Posted

BC SPCA constable visits Haida Gwaii

Special Constable John Meneray shook plenty of hands and a few paws… Continue reading

Nathan Cullen hosts ‘Create Your Canada’ contest

Local MP Nathan Cullen has a contest for people who catch themselves… Continue reading

In Pictures: Masset Main Street packed for Harbour Day

Sunshine and a fun set of games, sports, BBQs, fish bakes, pancake… Continue reading

Province to fund social housing in Queen Charlotte

People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness will soon have… Continue reading

Study highlights Queen Charlotte housing needs

A new housing report highlights lack of social and seniors housing

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Union calls on prime minister to step into ‘stalled’ Phoenix compensation talks

For more than two years, thousands of federal workers have been affected by Phoenix system

Judge: President Trump can’t block critics on Twitter

The judge had suggested that Trump mute rather than block some of his critics

NFL owners adopt new policy to address anthem protests

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the change was approved unanimously by owners

Unicyclist starts his cross-Canada trip in Vancouver

Taylor Stark started his journey May 7

Film Review: On Chesil Beach

Saoirse Ronan continues to shine in adaptation Ian McEwan novel about young newlyweds on their wedding day

B.C. patients lost nearly $500,000 due to medical wait times: report

Fraser Institute report shows Canadians as a whole lost $1.9 billion

Rain, melting snow pose flooding concerns across B.C. as evacuations lift

There are still about 300 Canadian Forces personnel, 380 wildfire crews helping with flood response

PNE’s Summer Night Concerts by Village People, Lauper, Goo Goo Dolls, more

Mostly retro sounds at this year’s fair in Vancouver, starting Aug. 18

Most Read