White Rock considers smaller hike

A public meeting to collect feedback on the City of White Rock
A public meeting to collect feedback on the City of White Rock's 2013-2017 Financial Plan Bylaw is set for 6 p.m. Monday.
— image credit: File photo

White Rock residents may be looking at a smaller-than-anticipated property tax increase.

According to a staff report, an increase of 2.8 per cent is proposed for the coming year, down more than one per cent from the 3.94 per cent that was projected in the city’s 2012-2016 financial plan.

The new figure – presented to the city’s finance committee Monday night, after Peace Arch News deadline – translates to $77 for the average single-family home and $30 for the average strata property.

Major drivers behind the projected increase are inflationary increases, funding two management positions and a police officer, higher facility utility costs and increased funding for parks maintenance, the city’s director of financial services reports.

Staff are recommending some increases and new fees, including a new secondary suite service fee of $250 per suite. The projected $250,000 annual revenue is proposed to assist with construction and operations of city infrastructure.

Operating-budget requests that are not recommended for 2013 funding include $58,000 requested for parks maintenance; $15,000 in increased remuneration for auxiliary firefighters; and $24,000 for an additional summer bylaw officer.

In addition to the property tax increase, the 2013 drainage user fee is proposed to increase by five per cent (to $295 from $281 for a single-family detached home; to $82 from $78 for stratas); and  residential and commercial sanitary sewer user fees are each expected to increase by $5.

Earlier this year, property taxes were increased by 2.5 per cent after city staff were told to rethink the 4.57 per cent hike that was initially proposed for 2012.

The public will have opportunity to comment on the new plan on Monday (Dec. 3), during a 6 p.m. meeting at city hall, 15322 Buena Vista Ave.

Written comments will be accepted until Dec. 10. Council is expected to consider first, second and third reading of the proposed 2013-2017 Financial Plan Bylaw on Dec. 17, with final reading scheduled for Jan. 14.

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