NANAIMO — The average Nanaimo homeowner will pay $233 more for property tax than they did last year.
For the first time in the lengthy budget process, the City of Nanaimo revealed the final tax increase of 5.86 per cent. It includes a 2.08 per cent property tax increase, user fees and money collected from organizations like the Regional District, Island library and school district.
City water and sewer fees are in line with increases from recent years. The nearly 40 per cent increase for waste collection is not, prompted by the sometimes controversial introduction of automated garbage pickup.
Though much of the increase is in line with previous years, fees collected by the Regional District are notably higher.
RDN finance director Wendy Idema explained much of the the 11 per cent RDN increase is for the $80 million expansion and upgrade to the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre.
“Once we get over this big hump with the (pollution control centre), where we're borrowing quite a bit of money and having to get the debt payment going, it drops in future years,” she explained. “Of course, that assumes nothing else major comes up.”
The five-year average of RDN fee increases is 7.8 per cent.
The nearly six per cent increases comes at a time when B.C. residents are bombarded with higher taxes.
On April 1, a carbon tax, tobacco tax and luxury car tax went into effect as well as a three per cent hydro rate hike.
The final tax increase wasn't publicly discussed by the City during budget deliberations, when councillors fought to bring Nanaimo's portion of the increase down to two percent.
Many councillors said they couldn't support anything higher and introduced the two per cent threshold at the last possible moment, in a move coun. Diane Brennan called “political grandstanding.”
The $233 number is based on a home valued at nearly $464,000.
Another factor impacting how much tax a homeowner pays is the increase in assessed value. The average single-family residential property in Nanaimo saw a 15.9 per cent increase in value compared to 2017, according to BC Assessment.
A home value increase of less than 15.9 per cent would lead to a lower tax hike. If a home's value jumped by more than the average, the tax increase will be higher.
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