City of Prince Rupert chief financial officer Corinne Bomben presented the final 2017 budget consultation opportunity at the March 20 council meeting, and although no members of the public offered up any comments, Counsellors Joy Thorkelson, Barry Cunningham and Gurvinder Randhawa inquired into some of the budget’s processes and outcomes. Thorkelson and Cunningham repeated their concerns over the provincial government’s taxation cap on qualifying import/export major industry properties at the port.
Thorkelson noted that in a scenario where the city needs to generate $160,000 to balance the budget, only $15,000 comes from the major industrial industry with the rest of the taxation classes (light industrial, business and residential) shouldering the rest of the burden.
Randhawa asked again to see the number of homes whose assessments increased, decreased or stayed the same, with a slide prepared by Bomben posted to the city’s website detailing the breakdowns.
With the proposed 1.5 per cent increase change to the mill rate, sixty-three per cent of homes will pay less than their 2016 bill or less than $40 more than their 2016 rate, while 523 households will pay $101-$200 more than last year, 281 will pay $201-$300 more than last year, 110 will pay $301-$400 more than last year and 146 will pay more than $400 more than 2016.
The number paying $0 to $100 is 1,551 households and the number of homes paying decreased property taxes is 1,604.