Moderate tax hikes expected in RDN rural areas

The Regional District of Nanaimo is working on its 2012 budget; transit and water protection add to area costs.

It is number crunching time at the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) but a detailed picture of the 2012 budget won’t be clear until February with adoption of the budget set for March 14.

The RDN board has received the proposed budget and the numbers presented by staff will see the budget increase by 6.7 percent over last year but several adjustments have been presented that could see the the tax revenue change drop down to 6.2%.

RDN chairman Joe Stanhope said the biggest increase in the budget comes from the addition of more than 5,000 hours of new transit service, most of it in Nanaimo. He admitted the RDN budget is very complicated because they must have a separate budget for each of the 102 services they provide.

He said as it stands now for a $300,000 home in the northern communities the proposed tax increase over last year isn’t huge. He said for Area E it would be $7, for Area F $1, for Area G $10 and $28 for Area H.

He said the increase is bigger for Area H, which makes up Shaw Hill, Deep Bay and Bowser, because of a new bus route planned for that region.

He said there is a increase to the RDN’s tax requisition from Parksville and Qualicum Beach because both municipalities will now be contributing to the drinking water and watershed protection service as well as the Northern Community Economic Development Select Committee.

More details in Tuesday’s print edition of The News.