Courtenay Council has approved a draft 2022-2026 financial plan that outlines projected tax rates and projected revenues and expenses for capital and operating programs over the next five years.
Mayor Bob Wells said the plan represents a return to pre-COVID service levels as well as increased costs for police, ordinance and fire protection services, with an overall property tax increase total in 2022 of 4.96%.
“The past two years have seen a lot of upheaval and uncertainty for our annual budget as we responded to the impacts of COVID-19,” Wells said. “While our regular services have gradually resumed, this budget represents a return to full service levels, in addition to meeting the health and safety needs and quality of life of our community. We are grateful to everyone on the front lines who provide these essential protective services for the benefit of our community. »
Protective Services is the city’s largest operating expense, and policing costs increased 9.8% from a year ago, primarily due to a new Federal Labor RCMP. This represents half of Courtenay’s total property tax increase this year.
Courtenay has also increased protective service levels with two new by-law enforcement positions and an additional full-time position at the Courtenay Fire Department to meet the complex needs of the growing community.
Other external financial impacts beyond the city’s control include minimum wage increases, new provincial regulations on paid sick leave, insurance, and utilities.
The plan also includes an additional contribution of $128,300 to the infrastructure reserve, funded by gaming revenue, which will support the long-term replacement of municipal assets such as water, sanitary sewers, storm sewers and roads.
The 2022 general budget includes:
•$40.4 million in operating expenses;
•$11.2 million in capital expenditures for infrastructure projects and upgrades;
•No new borrowing in 2022.
The community charter requires the council to adopt a five-year financial plan, or budget document, each year before passing the annual property tax by-law. Forecasts for future years are projections based on estimates only. The city continues to implement a strong asset management planning program and uses a conservative approach to estimating future revenues and expenses. Forecasts for future years do not include all other potential revenue sources such as grants. The city will continue to advocate for existing and emerging funding opportunities to reduce the impact on ratepayers and residents.
Financial plan and tax rate regulations will be passed by May 13 and tax notices will be mailed by the end of May.
For background reports and presentations, visit www.courtenay.ca/financialplan
The draft of the 2022-2026 financial plan will be available for review from March 15. Email your comments by March 31 to [email protected]
To find out how your property assessment relates to property taxes, visit www.courtenay.ca/assessments