Parksville council unanimously passed the 2013 budget with a 2.4 per cent property tax increase at their May 6 regular meeting.
Council had anticipated a three per cent increase but after deliberations set the 2.4 per cent increase for both residential and business property at their May 1 special committee of the whole meeting.
"My thanks to staff who created this responsible budget which reflects council's priority to deliver good value for residents and businesses," said mayor Chris Burger. "It is the city's good fiscal management which has permitted only a 2.4 per cent tax increase, the lowest since 2010."
The 2013 balanced budget was passed with the five-year financial plan, which anticipates three per cent increases for each of the next four years.
"Similar to many other municipalities, the City of Parksville is facing external pressures which include increasing expectations, the current global economy and rising costs," said a city news release. "The city's budget balances these challenges and at the same time continues to provide quality services for the citizens of Parksville."
Staff and council were working within the seven priority categories council set in 2012, in descending order: health and safety, legislation, development and maintenance of municipal infrastructure and assets, protection of private property, organizational welfare, economic welfare and community and social welfare. Council reaffirmed last year's freeze on new hires and service levels in the four bottom categories to minimize tax increases and provide funds for capital infrastructure renewal to including extensive work on the fresh water supply system over the next several years and address the infrastructure deficit.
When other government taxes collected by the city including the school and regional districts are included, the total increase for the average property is about 1.91 per cent. For a home with the average assessed value of $299,531 the total property taxes will increase by $47.68.