A graph presented at a committee of the whole meeting last month shows future capital spending identified in the 2018-2022 financial plan. (CITY OF NANAIMO image)

A graph presented at a committee of the whole meeting last month shows future capital spending identified in the 2018-2022 financial plan. (CITY OF NANAIMO image)

City council takes next step toward approving financial plan

2018-2022 financial plan passes three readings, property tax increase nudges up to 2.7 per cent

Nanaimo city council passed the first three readings of its financial plan as part of its budgeting process for 2018.

City council decided to move forward with the 2018-2022 financial plan as it works toward next spring’s 2018 budget. Residents are now looking at a 2.7-per cent property tax increase; the previously announced figure of 2.6 per cent was nudged up mostly due to a recent decision on funding downtown security, said Victor Mema, the city’s chief financial officer.

Coun. Bill Bestwick said asset management and staff wage increases ensured a property tax increase of at least two per cent.

“So here we are, we’re really talking about 0.6 per cent that we adjudicate and deliberate on to keep the budget where it is,” he said. “And I’m certain that many people here at this table would like it to be significantly more than that, and I know that there’s some people here that would like some of the money, the way that we spend it, spent differently.”

Coun. Ian Thorpe called it a “minimal budget,” said the increased spending on programs and services doesn’t even cover the cost of inflation and said he isn’t sure he would support future budgets calling for smaller spending increases.

Coun. Jim Kipp pointed to a coming infrastructure deficit and said the city needs to control spending in a time of an economic downturn and higher property assessments.

“We can spend a lot more, but people have to pay for it,” he said. “So I have trouble with the budget just continuing to grow, just continuing to grow and I don’t see a lot of other services we’re getting.”

Coun. Sheryl Armstrong said staff in various city departments came up with doable priorities.

“We looked at must-haves, nice-to-haves, and I believe that the budget prioritizes the must-haves,” she said.

The only council member to vote against the three readings of the financial plan was Coun. Diane Brennan, who said she didn’t see enough in the budget to address issues such as poverty and homelessness.

“The urban problems that we’re seeing moving from a small town into a big town, I see there are lots of problems identified when we talk to our constituents and citizens, but I see very little in this budget,” Brennan said. “I see a very minor tip of the hat to the issues that we face.”

Council will still need to adopt the financial plan in the new year. The 2018 budget doesn’t need to be adopted until late spring.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo Airport. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Airport coping with low passenger counts, uncertain recovery

Airport CEO Dave Devana says it will take years to return to pre-pandemic passenger levels

Sophia Seward-Good and Aunalee Boyd-Good of Nanaimo’s Ay Lelum – The Good House of Design are showcasing their latest collection Yuxwule’ Sul’sul’tun – Eagle Spindle Whorl at Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto. (Photo courtesy Helena Lines)
Nanaimo’s Ay Lelum makes Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto debut

Clothing design company showing new collection, Yuxwule’ Sul’sul’tun – Eagle Spindle Whorl

Police in Nanaimo hope the public can help find Shawn Miller. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP ask for help finding man missing since last week

Shawn Miller, 52, hasn’t been seen since Friday following days of erratic behaviour, say police

Beef to Halloween, a celebration of death, weapons, blood and murder. Halloween is a mockery of death and our beloved deceased. Why do we celebrate it?
Beefs & Bouquets, Nov. 25

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

The City of Nanaimo is working on the 2021-25 financial plan, with a series of special finance and audit meetings this week and next week. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo begins budgeting with 3.3% tax increase as a starting point

Special finance and audit meeting being held today, Nov. 25

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Picture of two swans leaving the Cowichan estuary moments before one was shot out of the sky. (Submitted photo)
Petition to stop hunting in Cowichan estuary after swan shot

Hunters blame shooting on illegal poachers

A Nanaimo driver was sentenced Monday for fatally striking a high school student with his vehicle in 2019. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo driver sentenced after motor vehicle incident that killed teen last year

Brandon Geoffrey Murdoch fined and prohibited from driving for two years

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Most Read