(News Bulletin file)

RDN budget projects 11 per cent tax increase for Gabriola Island

Public consultation for 2019-23 financial plan continues until Dec. 31

Gabriola Island residents could be in line for an 11 per cent property tax hike, according to the Regional District of Nanaimo’s 2019 proposed budget.

The RDN’s five-year financial plan proposal was presented to directors Dec. 4 and the increase is an estimate and subject to change as 2019 B.C. property assessment numbers are set to be released on Jan. 2.

The estimated RDN general services tax rate per $100,000 of assessment could increase to $104.60 from $93.80 for people in Area B and 32 per cent of the money will be spent on community and regional parks with $773,700 budgeted for construction for a skateboard park at Huxley Park that includes a pathway and skate bowl.

The City of Nanaimo could see a property tax requisition increase of 4.4 per cent, with the general services tax rate per $100,000 of assessed value estimated to jump to $92.60 from $88.60.

According to the report, 42 per cent of money from Nanaimo will go to transit services with a 5,000-hour transit service expansion, for a Vancouver Island University route, set for January.

RELATED: Decreased wait times for VIU buses coming

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District of Lantzville will see an increase of less than one per cent (0.7 per cent) and its tax rate per $100,000 is estimated to increase 50 cents to $80.60 per. Fifty per cent of its funds will go toward recreation services.

The South Wellington, Cassidy and Cedar area (Area A) is anticipated to see a tax increase of 3.1 per cent. The area’s general services tax rate per $100,000 is estimated to rise to $127.60 per from $123.70. Community and regional recreation and culture will see 32 per cent of that.

Area C – Extension, East Wellington and Pleasant Valley – is anticipated to see a 3.3 per cent increase in its property tax rate. It’s estimated it will increase to $111.10 per $100,000 from $107.50. Twenty-five per cent of that will go to community and regional recreation and culture.

Area E (Nanoose Bay) is expected to see its rate increase 7.4 per cent. Its general services tax rate per $100,000 is projected to increase to $97.90 per from $91.20 per. Twenty-seven per cent will go toward community and regional recreation and culture.

The RDN’s 2019 expenditures could include a number of staff additions. Two full-time bus drivers are proposed and would impact the budget to the tune of $168,500. A corporate records officer could cost the regional district $86,294 in 2019. Other notable positions include a communications engagement officer ($101,376), legislative coordinator ($78,048) and a term planning technician ($85,186), who will respond to building permitting referrals.

The RDN is also projecting employee wages to increase two per cent and a new B.C. health tax is expected to increase payroll 2.9 per cent.

The regional district budget also has $300,000 set aside for the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange to act as a research and recycling hub for zero waste recycling.

Among tentative 2019 capital expenditures, close to $2 million has been budgeted for upgrades to the pump station at Chase River.

RDN residents can learn about and provide input for the regional district’s 2018-19 budget by going to www.getinvolved.rdn.ca/rdn-budget-talks and a survey is open until Dec. 31.

The budget proposal is scheduled to go before the board for consideration on Jan. 22. The complete five-year financial plan is slated to be presented and reviewed Feb. 12 with adoption anticipated Feb. 26.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

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