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Nanaimo city council gives three readings to 2022 budget

Property tax increase at 5.9%
Nanaimo City Hall. (News Bulletin file photo)

The City of Nanaimo now has a financial plan bylaw that’s ready to be adopted.

City council, at a meeting Monday, Dec. 6, gave first, second and third readings to a 2022-26 financial plan that includes a 2022 budget.

Council did not put forward any late changes and is moving forward with a 5.9-per cent property tax increase, which includes a one-per cent increase to the general asset management reserve. Water user rates will go up five per cent, sewer rates up four per cent and sanitation rates up 14 per cent.

Laura Mercer, the city’s director of finance, said a typical single-family home with an assessed value of $544,000 will see a $134 increase to municipal taxes and a $199 increase when user fees are factored in.

Coun. Tyler Brown said he appreciated the time and effort put into budgeting, but said he couldn’t vote in favour of the financial plan, citing variability of the strategic capital program year-to-year, an absence of a process to budget toward outcomes, and use of reserves to lessen the tax increase.

“The reliance on reserves to artificially lower this year’s tax increase, I think, unfairly places a burden on future councils and limits their abilities to make decisions,” he said.

All three readings passed 6-3 with councillors Brown, Jim Turley and Ben Geselbracht opposed.

READ ALSO: City of Nanaimo’s potential property tax hike increases to 5.9%

READ ALSO: City of Nanaimo waste collection user fees going up 14%

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