Property taxes could rise up to 6.6% in Prince George in 2022

City’s finance and audit committee calls for 4.37% tax hike and $ 1 million cut to RCMP budget

Prince George property owners could see the municipal portion of their property tax bill increase by up to 6.6% in 2022, according to two reports presented to city council on Monday.
In a report to the city’s Standing Committee on Finance and Audit earlier this month, the city’s finance director Kris Dalio said the city’s planned spending for 2022 is expected to increase by 8, $ 44 million, while revenue is expected to increase by less than $ 1.16 million. To fill the shortfall of approximately $ 7.3 million, it will take a 6.37% increase in municipal property taxes.
“While the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is underway, the 2022 budget estimate reverses some of the important adjustments that have been made to the 2021 budget in terms of income and expenses,” Dalio wrote. “While income has not returned to pre-pandemic levels, this budget recognizes the return of some estimated income losses, particularly in recreation and development areas. It also shows the return of discretionary spending like training and travel. “
The federally approved RCMP salary increase was the city’s largest spending increase, accounting for more than $ 2.4 million in 2022. The return to business closer to normal, following of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been estimated at $ 2. million in non-labor expenses, while the city’s labor costs were expected to increase by $ 1.79 million.
The city will also see its debt service costs rise to nearly $ 1.79 million in 2022, Dalio wrote.
Inflationary costs for snow removal, road repairs, utilities and various other costs were less than $ 0.5 million of the increase forecast for 2022.
In addition, city staff will come up with three potential service improvements for city council’s consideration when budget deliberations begin next month, Dalio wrote.
Prince George RCMP will seek board approval to hire four additional officers for in-house training and to support team investigators, at an estimated cost of $ 805,460 in 2022. Prince George Fire Department is asking additional one-time funding of $ 60,000 in 2022 to hire consultants to access the ministry’s capacity to respond to fires and other disasters in accordance with international standards.
The city’s facilities department will also seek support from city council to open the public outhouse at the Prince George Conference and Civic Center, with the cost still being assessed at the time of Dalio’s report.
“If the Board approves all service improvements, the total increase in tax levies would drop from the current service level estimate of 6.37 (percent) to 6.60 (percent),” Dalio wrote in his report.
In a report submitted to city council on Monday, the president of finance and audit, the Council. Garth Frizzell recommended that city council ask staff to prepare a budget option that would result in a 4.37% tax hike in 2022.
Additionally, Frizzell and members of the finance and audit committee recommended that council ask city staff to prepare an option to cut $ 1 million from the city’s police departments’ operating budget.
As noted in the attached staff report, subject to changes in the BC appraisal value and tax rates set by the council, a (one percent) increase in taxes translates into a increase of about $ 20-25 for representative household, ”Frizzell wrote in his report. “For context, a reduction (one percent) in the tax levy equates to $ 1,143,439 in operating budget reductions. “
Using this calculation, a 4.37 percent tax increase would translate into a property tax increase of $ 87.40 to $ 109.25 for an average priced Prince George home. A 6.6% property tax increase would increase that average home’s tax bill from $ 132 to $ 165 in 2022.
The Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, is currently reported at 4.7% in Canada, for the period October 2020 to October 2021, added Frizzell.
The city still has about $ 3 million in funding from the province’s BC Safe Restart, which could be used to offset some of the tax increase slated for 2022, he wrote. That number could increase, as all of the Safe Restart money allocated to the city’s budget in 2021 could end up being used up.
“An updated balance of the Safe Restart Fund will be provided to the Board at the Jan. 24 budget meeting once much of the year-end accounting processes have been completed,” Frizzell wrote.

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