Sunday, November 20, 2011

Two-Tier Property Rates in the City

Council 2012 budget deliberations resume Monday night - open to media and public. Major item for discussion is to continue or phase out the two tier property tax rate in the city. There are still ~400 residences not on city water/sewer (would have their own well/septic). These are residences on the extremity of the city (for example: River Rd in Marysville, McLeod Hill, some in Silverwood & Lincoln, out by Killarney Lake, etc)

Those homes pay a tax rate (and therefore property taxes) 32% lower than the homes on city water/sewer. They do have well/septic costs, but if you are on city water, you also get invoiced quarterly (on top of property taxes) for w/s. It is estimated a typical home with 4 residents pays about $640/year for this.

The difference is a hold over from when the city amalgamated back in 1973, and many of the newer areas had no services at all. Now, everyone has access to all services, such as fire/police, recreation, snow & garbage removal, planning, transit (although some are a bit remote from the nearest route) - and you would have to drive further to access some of those other services.

The remote areas do not have sidewalks, but at least count there are also ~27+ streets in our/my Ward 3 that do not have sidewalks, but pay the higher rate.

The total of the higher taxes taxes paid by those on the higher rate, compared to those on the lower rate, is about $600,000/year. At the present time, I support one rate for all - or if two tier remains because of a slight difference in services, then at a much closer gap than the present 32% gap. I look forward to hearing what the other Councillor's positions are, and what the arguments may be for retaining the two rates.

No comments: