Council to contemplate 3.09% tax increase

  • Feb. 14, 2011 1:00 p.m.

Elected officials will be discussing a proposed 3.09 per cent property tax increase March 7.

That’s about $53 for the averaged assessed home in Mission worth $393,000. It’s less than the lowest tax scenario (an increase of 3.5 per cent) presented because staff found budgetary savings which reduced the uptick by 0.28 per cent (or $69,472), said finance director Ken Bjorgaard.

The rate was determined at a district administration and finance meeting last week after councillors dissected the numbers for nearly three hours.

Council went through the budget line by line and found more savings. Also, the entire downtown security cost will be funded through gaming grants instead of taxation and a second assistant fire chief and additional police officer will not be hired.

Whether or not to add an RCMP member for domestic violence cases was the most controversial topic, said Mayor James Atebe.

“It was very clear [from public input] the community wants to see enhancements in domestic violence service,” noted Atebe, adding the police department is already dealing with it and council has asked the inspector to use existing resources to treat these cases as a priority.

“We’re asking staff to do more with less,” said Atebe about the overall budget, which will include cuts to some departmental services and training.

In addition to the property tax hikes, Mission homeowners will also be paying more for library taxes ($2.89) and utilities ($89.32).

Councillors will discuss the issue again in March when district staff bring the financial plan bylaw forward for the first three readings. Council is expected to adopt the 2011 tax rate on March 21, but legally have until May 15.