Prince Rupert City Council heard of a proposed balanced budget, no increase to the mill rate, and an $850,000 surplus on March 8 at the regular council meeting. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Prince Rupert City Council heard of a proposed balanced budget, no increase to the mill rate, and an $850,000 surplus on March 8 at the regular council meeting. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Balanced budget, no increase to mill rate, and a surplus in proposed 2021 city budget

Prince Rupert City Council heard the proposed 2021 municipal budget

There will be no increase to the residential mill rate in the proposed 2021 budget, Corinne Bomben Chief Financial Officer for the City of Prince Rupert told city council at the regular meeting on March 8.

“Given the information known to date, staff are able to announce a budget surplus. This means we are able to recommend no increase to the residential mill rate. For clarity, this means a zero per cent change to the mill rate for 2021,” Bomben said.

Regarding the mill rate, Bomben said for example if a homeowners value in 2020 and 2021 is $200,000, the 2020 Municipal taxes paid are $1,172. With the proposed 2021 rate, the taxes are $1,101 or $71 less than in 2020.

Some home values did increase during the year, Bomben said, some largely and just marginally. Others stayed the same, but others decreased, she said.

It is important to calculate the expected value of taxes individually to determine the impact to each property owner,” Bomben said.

Regarding the overall proposed budget it is balanced, with a surplus.

“There is enough of a surplus that we’re proposing to reserve it to mitigate the future tax increases that come with unexpected and even planned capital asset replacement and renewal,” she said.

The surplus is expected to be $850,000

In a new zoom format broadcast on community television, Bomben told the council that the 2021 budget report is for information purposes and the final decision on the budget will be held until after public consultation and final B.C. assessment numbers are received.

“This year’s budget, one has changed since we began this journey six years ago, the budget consultation and conversations have dramatically shifted,” Lee Brain, mayor said.

“This year we’re looking at another no tax increase which is wonderful to see and a surplus,” the mayor said.

“Our budget is made up of many services which are offered year-round. We work each day to keep the streets clear for commuting, the water flowing when you turn on your taps and flush the toilets, the waste removed, the community safe, and the places for play available,” Bomben said. “Embedded within these are information technology, financial and customer support services, communication Uberti response and dispatch, engineering, fleet, and building maintenance, bylaw enforcement and police detachment support, city beautification and economic development.”

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