Breaking down Mission’s proposed new budget

Why is the district seeking a 4.62 per cent increase in municipal taxes?

The District of Mission has proposed a municipal tax hike of 4.62 per cent and is preparing to present it at a public forum in order to receive feedback.

Along with the 4.62 per cent tax increase are increases to the drainage levy (9.75 per cent), water utility user fees (one per cent) and sewer utility user fees (five per cent).

The 4.62 per cent increase translates into an extra $1,461,253 needed over last year’s budget.

Here’s how the numbers break down, according to the district staff report:

Mission requires $340,312 (an increase of 1.08 per cent) just to maintain existing services.

Add to that another $1,082,846 (an increase of 3.43 per cent) for proposed increased service levels, which brings the total to $1,423,158.

However, new property tax revenue generated from new construction is expected to be $300,000 (a reduction of 0.96% per cent), which would diminish the amount needed to $1,123,158 (a net increase of 3.55 per cent).

Finally, the district needs $338,095 (1.07 per cent) to offset the increase in payroll overhead caused by the new BC Payroll Tax, which came into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. That brings the total amount required to $1,461,253, an increase of 4.62 per cent.

Included in the increased service levels is the need for $201,150 for two full-time and one part-time clerk positions supporting RCMP administration. The new staff will help to improve transcription, file management and property control.

The need for the new staff arose because of the Jordan decision – a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada which rejected the framework traditionally used to determine whether an accused was tried within a reasonable time.

It created a new ceiling of 18 months between the charges and trial for provincial court without preliminary inquiry, or 30 months in other cases.

Other new services required include a help desk support technician ($79,300), a senior policy planner ($126,000), administration clerk for inspection services ($78,125) and a parks maintenance worker ($89,700).

According to the staff report, Mission has the fourth-lowest taxes for a representative house when compared to municipalities across the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley Regional Districts.

The proposed budget will be presented to the public on Feb. 19 as part of the regular meeting of council. The meeting takes place at city hall and begins at 6 p.m.

In addition to the consultation meeting, a survey regarding the 2019 budget will be available on the district’s website from Feb. 1-19. Results from this survey will be provided to council at the March 6 special meeting of council.

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