Nanaimo City Hall. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo council gives three readings to budget with 5.2% tax increase

City council approves user rates, moves closer to adoption of 2020-24 financial plan

Nanaimo residents can expect a property tax increase next year.

Councillors, during their regularly scheduled council meeting on Dec. 16, unanimously gave the first three readings of the city’s 2020-24 financial plan without any debate or discussion.

Should council adopt the financial plan, residents will be hit with 5.2 per cent property increase in 2020.

Municipal user fees will also increase next year. Water user fees will increase by 7.5 per cent or $42 for an average single-family home, sewer fees will increase by four per cent or $6 and sanitation fees will increase 0.6 per cent or $1 in 2020.

RELATED: Nanaimo city council expected to vote on 5.2-per cent property tax increase

During Monday’s meeting, Laura Mercer, the city’s director of finance, said the projected impact to a typical home is $109 for municipal taxes and $158 when including the user fee increases. She said the financial plan will enable the city to fund initiatives such as improvements at Harewood Centennial Park.

“This financial plan bylaw reflects that we are investing in our community through funding new amenities,” she said.

Mercer said the plan also enhances public safety by providing funding for additional RCMP officers.

“There was a full 15 officer commitment, so three a year for the next five years,” she said. “We have added two new prison guards and we are increasing the hours for bylaw enforcement officers from 35 hours a week to 40 hours a week.”

According to the 2020-24 financial plan, the city is anticipating $196.5 million in revenue next year, with roughly 60 per cent coming from property taxes and 24 per cent coming from user fees. The 2020 net expenditure budget will increase by $5.53 million, with the staff wages and benefits rising by approximately $2.8 million.

Notable expenses for 2020 include $3 million for road rehabilitation, $3 million for Fire Station No. 1, $2.2 million for fire department fleet renewal, $1.5 million for city fleet replacement and $100,000 for an economic development strategy.

Total projected revenues for 2020 are $196.5 million with 60 per cent coming from property taxes and 24 per cent from user fees.

Council has until May 2020 to formally adopt the financial plan.

RELATED: Nanaimo’s potential property tax increase trimmed to 5.1 per cent

RELATED: City of Nanaimo budget talks underway, projected tax increase up to 5.6 per cent

RELATED: City of Nanaimo’s budget talks start with 5.2-per cent tax increase







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
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