UPDATE: Nanaimo council sets property tax rate increase

Generally lower assessments could spell a slight decrease in some property tax bills

Nanaimo’s residential tax rate is creeping up again.

City council officially adopted the 2012 tax rate bylaw Monday, setting the city portion of the property tax rate increase at 3.9 per cent for residential, 2.9 per cent for commercial and an 18.5-per cent reduction for industrial.

Water rates increased five per cent at the beginning of the year. There was no increase in sewer rates, though garbage service increased $7, up 6.1 per cent for Nanaimo residents.

Those increases mean the average $350,000 residential property would see about a $90 increase for 2012. However, there is the possibility that because of generally lower assessments, some might actually see a slight decrease in their property tax bill.

“For an average $350,000 house that saw a five-per cent decrease in their assessment from last year, there could be a one-per cent decrease in the city’s portion of property taxes this year,” said Brian Clemens, director of finance for the city. “Now with that said, there are about 30,000 residential properties in Nanaimo and very few are perfectly average. There are a lot of variables that go into setting individual rates.”

A property tax estimator, which requires 2011 and 2012 assessment numbers, is available at www.nanaimo.ca.

Property taxes are expected to raise $160 million in revenue for the city. Of that, $118.9 million will go toward operational expenditures, while $41 million will be used as capital expenditures.

Police and fire services continue to represent a significant part of the city’s overall budget.

Between the first and second drafts of the budget, police services increased about $675,000 to $24.2 million due to increased staffing and a federally appointed pay raise for RCMP members, resulting in police costs accounting for 25 per cent of the total operating budget. At $12.5 million, fire services uses 16 per cent.

Clemens said those increases would have resulted in a significantly higher tax rate increase, but council’s decision to use $2 million from reserves instead of borrowing for the new city annex brought it back down.

“It changed fairly radically in both directions, but resulted in a fairly small change overall,” said Clemens.

Residential and commercial rates were originally targeted to be four-per cent and 3.2-per cent increases respectively.

The industrial tax rate reduction is part of council’s four-year strategy to shift industrial rates to residential. Industrial rates will decrease about 16 per cent again for 2013 before coming back in line with residential and commercial rates in 2014 at a three-per cent increase.

About 60 per cent of property tax collected goes to the city while the balance goes to other services such as the Regional District of Nanaimo, school district, Nanaimo Regional Hospital District, libraries and B.C. Assessment.

Property taxes are due July 3.


Just Posted

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman who was killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Nanaimo artist Melissa Anderson has paintings on display at White Rabbit Coffee Co. for the next month. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter showcases coastal Island views in first exhibit in two years

Melissa Anderson presents ‘Seascapes’ oil painting exhibit at White Rabbit Coffee Co.

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read