(PQB News file photo)

(PQB News file photo)

Qualicum Beach property owners face potential tax hike of 5.5 per cent

Town to offer chance for residents to share concerns

Town of Qualicum Beach property owners face a possible 5.5 per cent tax increase this year.

Town council will offer them an opportunity to voice any concerns regarding the proposed budget during a committee of the whole meeting on March 9 at 10 a.m.

Staff has recommended rescinding second reading of the town’s financial plan, after some amendments were made to the budget.

The adjustments to the financial plan were attributed to three reasons: an increase in property taxes due to construction cost index as well as a phase-in of business tax increase to better align with neighbouring communities; capital projects adjustments based on council notices of motion and other asset management related changes; and adjustments for projects started in 2021 and projected to be completed in 2022.

READ MORE: Assessments vs. taxation: why soaring Island assessments may not mean soaring taxes

Property taxes last year rose to 3.5 per cent based on 2.5 per cent for inflation related to the Consumer Price Index of B.C. and one per cent for capital projects. Staff initially proposed 3.5 per cent again but amended their proposal due to the CPI going up seven per cent in the last three years while construction cost index has increased 12 per cent over the same period,

As most of the town’s expenditures are focused on construction, about 40 per cent, they have been subjected to a higher inflation than regular consumer products. This required an added two per cent tax increase which upped the rate to 4.5 per cent to keep up with inflation. And additional one per cent was needed for asset management projects, resulting in a 5.5 per cent tax increase proposed for 2022.

Residents who want to speak at the committee of the whole needs to register to be able to do so. You can register online at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYodOGuqzsoGNSp9JHTmz0GfqhtdeVH-WFa

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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