City of Nanaimo chief financial officer Victor Mema speaks about the 2018-22 draft financial plan at a meeting Friday at the city’s service and resource centre. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

City of Nanaimo chief financial officer Victor Mema speaks about the 2018-22 draft financial plan at a meeting Friday at the city’s service and resource centre. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

City’s draft budget includes 2.6-per cent property tax increase, higher user fees

City of Nanaimo released details of its 2018-22 draft financial plan on Friday

The City of Nanaimo will work with a potential 2.6-per cent property tax increase as it enters budget deliberations for 2018.

The municipality released details of its 2018-22 draft financial plan on Friday, revealing the projected property tax increase in addition to increased user fees for water, sewer and garbage collection.

Based on the draft plan, garbage fees would rise 24 per cent, water fees would go up 7.5 per cent and sewer user fees would go up five per cent. According to the city, “for a typical household” with an assessed value of $441,000, the property tax increase would equate to $51; the water rate increase would amount to $36; garbage, $32; and sewer, $6, for a total city taxes and fees increase of $125.

Victor Mema, the City of Nanaimo’s chief financial officer, said the city’s 2018 operating budget is $108 million and the capital budget is $49 million.

He said there are about $3.8 million in increased costs, which he calls “cost pressures,” and $1.2 million in additional tax revenue due to population growth, creating a $2.6-million shortfall necessitating a 2.6 per cent property tax increase.

Mema said over the past four years, tax increases have cumulatively amounted to 5.5 per cent below forecasts in the 2014-18 financial plan.

“That’s huge in the scope of taxes,” said Tracy Samra, the city’s chief administrative officer. “That’s a major achievement and I think this council’s one of the few that’s ever had a zero per cent property tax increase, which they had in 2016. So they’ve been very fiscally prudent.”

Some of the capital projects on the books in 2018 include work on the waterfront walkway, south downtown waterfront access, Georgia Greenway pedestrian and cycling corridor, and Chase River sewer pump station, as well as planning on Nanaimo Fire Rescue station No. 1.

Some other expenses include replacement of water mains on sections of Terminal Avenue, College Drive and Wakesiah and Bruce avenues, roof replacement work at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and Beban Park social centre and replacement of the tube chiller at Frank Crane Arena.

Samra said if councillors wish for a property tax increase less than 2.6 per cent in 2018, “there would be lots of things” they could do, including deferring non-essential capital projects or cutting service levels.

“There’s some things that we need to do for risk and make sure that the city doesn’t fall apart,” she said. “Anything after that would be up for [council’s] determination to move around.”

There will be opportunities for the public to provide feedback on the budget, beginning with a committee of the whole meeting Nov. 27, an e-town hall meeting Dec. 4, a finance and audit committee workshop Dec. 7 and a city council meeting Dec. 18.



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 city councillors have recommended a $1.3-million cycle track for Albert Street between Pine Street and Milton Street. The city held a budget-focused finance and audit committee meeting Friday. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo budgets for new $1.3-million bike lane on Albert Street

Potential property tax increase now at 3.6 per cent after finance and audit meeting Friday

Police escorted residents of a homeless encampment on Wesley Street to and from the site to collect their belongings Thursday and Friday following a fire that destroyed several tents and ignited a number of propane tanks. The encampment has been permanently cleared and its residents dispersed. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Occupants of Nanaimo’s Wesley Street encampment offered support following fire and displacement

City of Nanaimo permanently clears homeless camp over ongoing safety concerns

Nanaimo RCMP hope the public can help identify a woman driving a Ford pickup who fled the scene following and collision on Wellington Road Tuesday. (File photo)
Nanaimo RCMP seek driver alleged to have fled from hit-and-run on Wellington Road

Driver allegedly flees scene after head-on crash between two Ford pickups

Creativity Commons manger Jonathon Bigelow is printing copies of ‘Alone but Not Alone: Poetry in Isolation’ using the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library’s Espresso Book Machine. (Photo courtesy Corinne Shortridge)
Nanaimo Harbourfront Library releases COVID-19-themed poetry anthology

‘Alone but Not Alone: Poetry in Isolation’ features poets from across the Vancouver Island region

A Canada-wide warrant has been issued for Romey O’Neill. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP seek man wanted on immigration warrant

Romey O’Neill, 26, rented Kia sedan in Nanaimo, car was later reported stolen

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of payments for household incomes up to $175,000

The opening day on Mount Washington this year was Dec. 4. Screenshot
Mount Washington opens on time, COVID-19 protocols in place

“We’re super excited - it’s been six months in the planning.”

Steve Metcalfe, Quality Foods Harewood store manager, holds a poinsettia and a Coins for Kids donation jar, two symbols of Christmas spirit. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin
Coins for Kids collects for Christmas causes in Nanaimo

News Bulletin fundraising for Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, Boys and Girls Clubs

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Most Read