Heavy snowfall costs have forced city staff to recommend an increase to the mill rate for 2017.

Heavy snowfall costs have forced city staff to recommend an increase to the mill rate for 2017.

City of Prince Rupert trying to push through tax mill rate increase going up another 50%

City staff are now recommending a 2.25 per cent increase to the mill rate, up from 1.5 per cent originally proposed in March

Due to heavier snowfall than normal during a harsh winter season on the North Coast and due to revised property assessment values, City of Prince Rupert staff are recommending a mill rate increase of 2.25 per cent for the 2017 Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw.

In a notice posted to the city’s website April 5 for a special regular council session planned for April 11, city chief financial officer Corinne Bomben detailed the reasoning for bumping up the original proposed 1.5 per cent increase another 0.75 per cent in a report to council.

“The final financial implications of Mother Nature became clear in the latter part of March resulting in a need to increase the 2017 budget figures to provide room in the budget for possible snow removal and ice control at the end of 2017,” Bomben wrote.

An additional $100,000 is proposed in the budget for snow and ice control. Also, council will later be presented with a plan for a reserve fund for heavier snowfall events in future years.

City staff had been dedicating their full resources and time to removing snow and controlling ice for weeks in February and March after record snowfall levels dumped more white stuff on residents in late winter.

Final property assessment values from BC Assessment were made available at the end of March, and a decrease of assessed values totaling $5 million also altered the budget to necessitate the increase.

Staff will present the adjustment in the April 11 meeting and council will consider the final budget bylaw at a later meeting in April.