A nine-per cent increase to the tax requisition is coming in the Regional District of Nanaimo this year, after directors passed the 2023 budget this week.
An 11.3 per cent tax hike was considered when budget deliberations began, but directors settled on an 8.9-per cent hike when they adopted a 2023-27 financial plan at a meeting March 14.
An average City of Nanaimo home is valued at $774,771 in 2023, based on the latest B.C. Assessment information, and the typical tax requisition will be $629, a $53 increase from last year. In the District of Lantzville, taxes will total $617, a $24 year-over-year increase.
For Cedar-South Wellington-Yellow Point-Cassidy (Area A), taxes will be $782, a $43 increase. On Gabriola Island (Area B), the tax requisition will be $529, a $73 increase. An average home in Extension-East Wellington (Area C) will be taxed $986, a $106 increase over last year.
RDN properties receive a combination of 106 RDN services, and “financial implications vary widely by property,” noted a staff report. The RDN is mandated to pass a five-year financial plan by March 31.
The B.C. government recently announced growing community fund money, with the RDN receiving close to $8 million, City of Nanaimo over $16 million and District of Lantzville close to $2 million, but Tiffany Moore, RDN chief financial officer, said that based on timing, those amounts will not be included in 2023 budgeting.
“We don’t know if there’s going to be any restrictions and the latest information we have received is that we are not expecting to learn more details until the end of March…” she said. “If the financial plan has been adopted, we can amend the financial plan to incorporate the growing community fund, but any amendments after March 31 cannot affect the requisition.”
Directors expressed gratitude to staff for lessening the tax burden from double to single digits, and while Bob Rogers, Nanoose Bay director, and Leanne Salter, Coombs-Errington director, expressed those sentiments, both voted against the financial plan, citing staffing numbers.
“I recognize the work that went into this budget, but I also cannot support it,” said Salter. “We have 146 more staff coming on line over the next five years for an average of 29 new staff per year and that’s not sustainable.”
– files from Michael Briones, Black Press
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