New tax could be on way for a Nanaimo neighbourhood

NANAIMO – Green Lake residents could pay a sewer benefiting tax in 2016.

A new tax could be levied on Green Lake homeowners.

More than 70 homes in Nanaimo’s Green Lake neighbourhood have connected to the city’s new mandatory sewer system since 2013 but haven’t paid taxes for the service.

That’s about to change.

The City of Nanaimo has announced it’s time for homeowners in the Green Lake neighbourhood to join the regional district sewer benefiting area. The move means residents will have to pay a tax, beginning next year.

Every year the multiplicity is charged by the Regional District of Nanaimo for the running of the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre Treatment Plant and the cost is divvied up amongst properties in the sewer benefitting area.

But 78 properties in Green Lake haven’t yet been written into the benefitting area bylaw.

Laura Mercer, the city’s manager of accounting services, said costs weren’t charged to them and were absorbed by others.

The City of Nanaimo decided to install a sewer system for the area in 2011, almost four decades after amalgamation. It was understood once sanitary sewer was brought to the area, all properties would be subject to the RDN tax, according to a city report.

Seventy-eight of a potential 98 homes have connected, or are in the process of joining the system. Twenty have not hooked-up. Nanaimo city staff members expect to go to council in early 2016 to ask what it should do about those not yet on the mandatory system.

The tax, which still has to go through RDN bylaw changes and Nanaimo city council approval, is expected to roll out next year. In 2015, the rate for the sewer benefiting area amounted to $123.31 for a home valued at $350,000.

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