Council is proposing a one per cent property tax increase in this year’s budget.
While there is a zero per cent increase in the city’s operation budget for 2021, the new funds will cover transfers to the Transportation Reserve Fund, which is used to build and repair roads in the city.
However, with the pandemic squeezing taxpayers, councillors Rob Elliot and Tim Palmer were opposed to even the one per cent tax increase.
“We can stall things on a down year,” Elliott said at the Feb. 23 council meeting.
City staff initially proposed a two per cent tax increase for road repairs, a plan that was approved by council during the 2020 budget deliberations.
However, council voted to decrease the amount, with Michael Brooks-Hill, Jackie Rhind, Elliott and Palmer in favour and Mayor Gary Sulz and Nicole Cherlet against.
According to Tania McCabe, director of finance for the city, on average the one per cent increase will cost people with properties valued around $500,000 an extra $16 a year. In 2020 the average value of property in Revelstoke was $546,00, up from $509,000 in 2019.
Also proposed are zero increases to utility fees.
The public will be asked for feedback on the budget in coming weeks.
Revelstoke has seen a property tax increase of 23 per cent since 2016.
Across the province other municipalities are proposing varying increases:
- Vernon 2.13 per cent
- Lake Country 3.25 per cent
- Salmon Arm 0.5 per cent
- Nakusp 3.58 per cent
- Kamloops 0.93 per cent
- Kelowna 4.04 per cent
- Vancouver five per cent
However, budget deliberations are ongoing in many locations and changes may still be made, with the final deadline to adopt financial plans coming up on March 31.