Council raids economic opportunity fund in budget balancing effort

Money diverted from economic development fund to offset Revelstoke taxes, but result is less money for future economic development

Revelstoke City Council has decided to stop a $70,000 annual tax payment to an Economic Development Commission (EDC) fund, a development fund that has helped pay for projects such as the Revelstoke Airport expansion and the Revelstoke Railway Museum.

In an accounting change, the EDC will now be supported by the Economic Opportunity Fund, which ultimately is paid for by BC Hydro grants-in-lieu of taxes.

What the accounting switch means is taxpayers will be charged $70,000 less in taxes annually, but future economic opportunity projects will also be poorer to the tune of $70,000 per year.

The decision came at Revelstoke City Council’s Jan. 14 meeting, and Councillors Steve Bender and Chris Johnston voted against the move.

The change also required permission from Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area B director Loni Parker. In fact, the accounting switch splits the $70,000 in savings between the CSRD Area B ($15,000) and the City of Revelstoke ($55,000).

Like a sewer or water infrastructure fund saves up money to pay for sewer or water projects, the economic development fund saves for projects that promote economic development, such as the airport.

Council heard the fund now sits at approximately $650,000.

Is it a cynical raid designed to reduce taxes through an accounting trick? Listen to this exchange from Revelstoke City Council’s Jan. 14 meeting:

Coun. Chris Johnston: “If I were a cynic, I would say this could be seen as an opportunist move to – on the short term – say that taxes have been reduced, whereas in the long term you’re going to pay for it, in that the fund that could be used for other economic development projects is being put into an operations junket, so to speak.”

Mayor David Raven replied: “It’s kind of where it is.”

 

 

Just Posted

Cloudy in Revelstoke today

High four degrees

Chasing a Trace wolverine movie showing in Revelstoke Nov. 28

Learn more about the regional project Wolverine Watch

Mike Field Quintet playing in Revelstoke this Friday

The band is known for their bright and energetic music

Going by electric car: Revelstoke adventurer does 100 summits without fossil fuels

Documentary Electric Greg showing in Revelstoke Nov. 30

Province commits to supporting Indigenous tourism growth in B.C.

The Indigenous Tourism Accord signed during conference in Kelowna

‘It’s been 12 years’: Father of murdered B.C. real estate agent pleads for mayor’s help

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 in Saanich. Her case is unsolved.

B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

Radon levels in new Salmon Arm home a concern

Real-time monitoring shows radon concentration just within federally accepted guideline

B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charges

John served as minister for children and families under then-premier Ujjah Dosanjh

Vernon councillor suggests homeless set up camp at city hall

Overnight camping in city parks is only permitted between dusk and 9 a.m. in specific parks

Nearly half of B.C. drivers nervous in winter conditions: BCAA

‘Wait and see’ approach common practice for 32% of B.C. motorists

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

Most Read