Revelstoke city staff will be looking to make an up to $550,000 budget shortfall going forward after Revelstoke Alpine Village Inc. successfully appealed several property assessments.
Back in 2016 a handful of condos in Sutton place were reclassified to Class 6 from Class 1, dramatically increasing the amount of property tax paid for those locations.
At the time Tania McCabe, now director of finance for the city, and her predecessor Graham Inglis, flagged the change and decided to set aside the extra revenue “until we are sure we can keep it,” McCabe said. They were setting aside $400,000 a year, just in case. However, the previous city council dropped that number to $200,000 a few years ago in order to avoid increasing taxes, McCabe said.
The city will have to pay back $1,548,943 to the resort. McCabe said they will be using the $1,579,946 in Tax Equalization Reserve fund to cover the cost, leaving $31,002 in the fund.
“The tax appeal was to ensure our properties were being treated fairly and consistently with similar properties throughout the province,” said Peter Nielsen, VP of operations at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, in a news release. “This is a standard business practice. With our commitment to continued investment at the resort, we anticipate our tax contributions to the City or Revelstoke will continue to increase over time and provide increasing benefits to the community.”
If the decrease in revenue were to be addressed solely with a property tax increase, taxpayers would see a 4-4.5 per cent change, McCabe said.
“Obviously the management group is going to do some serious naval gazing and try to not have to do that,” she said.
As McCabe sits down to do next year’s budget she said she doesn’t know how it is going to play out, adding that she will be looking at tightening the capital plan, saying projects that need to be done might have to be deferred a few years.