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Kimberley approves five-year budget and 1.6% tax increase

Municipal taxes in the City of Kimberley will go up by 1.6% after City Council formally adopted the 2021 Tax Rates bylaw on Monday night alongside the Five-Year Financial Plan.

In the meeting, Jim Hendricks, Chief Financial Officer said the tax increase was less than expected.

“3.8% is what we were anticipating in the Five-Year Financial Plan bylaw, so we’re quite pleased that we’re able to keep the tax rates down,” said Hendricks.

Additionally, the Aquatic Centre Parcel Tax will be lowered for the year, from $195.91 in 2020 to $88.51 in 2021.

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“The reason for that is the extended facility shut-down at the Aquatic Centre due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of that, we had reduced operating costs in 2020, which resulted in the City collecting more parcel tax than we needed to fund the Aquatic Centre deficit,” explained Hendricks. “The extra parcel tax was kept in reserve at the end of 2020 and is being used this year to reduce the amount of parcel tax we’re asking property owners to pay.”

Overall, the total taxes on an average single-family home assessed at $360,181 will be approximately $2,535 this year. The variable rate property tax works out to $2,061.39 while the flat tax levy comes to $386 and the Aquatic Centre tax will cost $88.51.

Meanwhile, fees for water and garbage collection will not increase this year, but sewer fees will see an 8% jump, raising costs by $7.59 per quarter. In total, all three utilities will cost residents about $236.32 per quarter in 2021.

In Kimberley’s  Five-year Financial Plan, the City outlined an anticipated expense of almost $62.6-million for a new wastewater treatment plant. However, the document noted that Kimberley would need help paying for the project.

“The City cannot afford to complete this project without significant grant funding from senior levels of government. Based on research of grants received by other municipalities for similar projects, the most likely level of grant funding the City could anticipate is 73.33%,” said the City Council document.

Originally, Kimberley anticipated that grants would cover 90% of the cost of the project, making the City’s contribution $6,257,000.The cost to the City has now grown to $16,687,419 based on the new estimate of 73.33% of the project being funded through grants.

More: 2021-2025 Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw (City of Kimberely)

More: 2021 Tax Rates Bylaw (City of Kimberley)

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