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Parksville property owners face potential tax hike of 6.6 per cent

City’s provisional budget also includes small increases to water sewer fees
The Parksville Civic and Technology Centre at 100 Jensen Ave. (PQB News file photo)

Parksville property owners can expect a 6.6 per cent property tax increase, based on the city’s provisional budget.

For the average home value in Parksville, that increase will translate to a $171 increase, along with a five per cent ($15) hike in water fees and three per cent ($6) in sanitary sewer fees, according to a news release by the City of Parksville.

Each year, the city prepares a five-year financial plan to meet the needs of the community today and into the future. The city’s annual budget is part of the five-year financial plan which sets the priority services, programs and initiatives for the next five years and how the city will pay for them, the city stated in the release.

Beginning in November, the city held three Committee of the Whole meetings and two special council meetings to consider input from residents, stakeholder groups and staff.

The 2024-2028 financial plan details the city’s operating costs, capital plan, funding sources and tax and utility rates for the five-year period. The city’s plan aims to balance the pressures of a growing community with ongoing maintenance, expected service levels and infrastructure improvements and where possible, reduce the burden on residents, according to the city.

Increased service levels starting in 2024 include one new career fire rescue service technician, one new RCMP member and a new special events co-ordinator position for downtown and city parks.

READ MORE: City of Parksville reports e-bike damage to parks and trails

Investments in capital assets and infrastructure renewal for 2024 to 2028 include $1.5 million asphalt patching, overlays, crack sealing in 2024; a $400,000 salt shed replacement, $100,000 Shelly Road Centre playground; $3.675 million per year roads and drainage infrastructure renewal; $150,000 replacement of critical emergency communications infrastructure; $2 million Parksville Pathway Project from Parksville Community Park to Englishman River estuary; $500,000 utilities instrumentation and controls renewal and $825,000 per year in water and sanitary sewer infrastructure renewal.

Investments in reserves for future expenditures include the establishment of protective services reserve for policing and fire rescue services’ future capital and operating expenditures, starting with an annual incremental contribution of 0.2 per cent of property tax revenues and a one-time transfer of $1.5 million from unrestricted surplus, totalling $2.01 million over five years.

There will also be significant upcoming protective services expenditures that include renovation to the fire hall, ongoing replacement of fire apparatus and increased staffing and operating costs tied to growing population. The city’s incremental share of policing costs increases from 70 per cent to 90 per cent when the population exceeds 15,000.

Continuation of the annual incremental increase of 0.5 per cent of property taxes contributed to the capital reserve for infrastructure renewal, totalling $2.466 million over five years. Reserves support financial sustainability goals with respect to critical infrastructure investment and renewal.

Other strategic priority projects included in the five-year plan include a $750,000 drinking water master plan; $300,000 for a downtown lighting project to enhance place making and safety; city-hosted celebrations and events in Memorial Plaza and Parksville Community Park; requirements of new provincial legislation related to housing plan/official community plan amendments, short-term rental regulations and the Emergency and Disaster Management Act; and completion of master plans for water, sanitary sewer, storm drainage and transportation.

At the meeting held on March 4, council approved the provisional financial plan bylaw.

Both the five-year financial plan bylaw and property tax rates bylaw must be adopted by May 15 of each year. The next steps at upcoming meetings are the April 8 Financial plan Committee of the Whole meeting to revisit the provisional 2024-2028 financial plan and 2024 property tax rates.

More meetings in April and May, with dates to be determined will see the adoption of amended 2024-2028 financial plan and 2024 property tax rates bylaws.

Parksville residents and taxpayers are encouraged to provide input and feedback on the financial plan by attending meetings, reviewing information on Let’s Talk Parksville and providing comments by email to or on Lets Talk Parksville.

— NEWS Staff

About the Author: Parksville Qualicum Beach News Staff

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