White Rock residents will see their property tax bills increase by 3.25 per cent this year, following council’s approval Monday of the 2014-2018 financial plan bylaw.
“The impact that that has is $96 on an average detached single-family home, and $35 on an average strata property in the city,” financial services director Sandra Kurylo confirmed Tuesday.
The bump is two per cent lower than the 5.25 per cent increase that staff had initially recommended. The first figure was put forward after consideration of major changes to expected operations and the resources required.
The most significant initiative to arise was the city’s decision to explore purchasing its water utility, a move Kurylo, in presenting the plan’s first draft, had said would require borrowing a significant amount of money.
The 3.25 per cent figure was arrived at by finding $378,000 in savings and/or new revenue; in part, through deferring the start dates of two recommended new staff positions and increasing the budget for new property taxes from development.
Utility rate increases are also included in the bylaw. The sanitary sewer user fee is going up 2.3 per cent this year, increasing the residential rate by $6 to $253; the drainage utility user fee is to increase by five per cent, for an average impact of $17 on single-family homes (to $359) and $5 on stratas (to $107).
The projected increase to property taxes in 2015 is 3.8 per cent, followed by 2.8 per cent in 2016, 2.7 per cent in 2017 and 2.6 per cent in 2018.
Council voted unanimously (with Coun. Larry Robinson) Monday to give the bylaw final reading.