Prince Rupert City Hall. (File photo)

Free transit for voters on election day

Highlights from UBCM and taxes covered in the City of Prince Rupert council meeting Sept. 17

Free transit for election day

Transportation the voting booth will be readily available for voters once again on election day after council voted to provide free transit services for voters on Sept. 17.

Corrine Bomben, the city’s chief financial officer, told council that BC Transit had sent a notification out to all communities operating BC Transit requesting a resolution on free transit services for the 2018 Oct. 20 general voting day. Similar services were provided by council in the 2014 municipal election.

Mayor Lee Brain moved to make the recommendation, which was carried unanimously.

“I think that’s a great idea for bring people out on election day,” councillor Gurvinder Randhawa said.

Port tax cap review requested

Mayor Lee Brain gave a report about council’s recent trip to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Whistler.

Brain said that a joint letter has been signed with eight other municipalities regarding a review of the Port Property Tax Act. The letter was signed and delivered to B.C. Finance Minister Carole James.

“We had lots of discussion with those communities as well as minister James about this act and the impacts on it,” Brain said. “I can’t speak for the ministry, but there were very positive discussions and we’re hoping to get more traction with the province in this upcoming year.”

READ MORE: Prince Rupert city council takes aim at cap on port’s property taxes

Ridley Island Tax Sharing Agreement

Brain also reported that he discussed the Ridley Island Tax Sharing Agreement both with municipal affairs and the ministry of finance.

The City of Prince Rupert and the District of Port Edward have yet to enter negotiations regarding both the tax sharing agreement and contributions for shared services since their two-year service agreement ended at the beginning of 2018.

The District contributed $300,000 in 2016 and $200,000 in 2017 to Prince Rupert under the shared service agreement, but have not made any contributions since. Brain said there were discussions between the City of Prince Rupert and the province regarding a review of the tax sharing agreement and contributions for shared services.

“We’re going to continue working with the province on finding a resolution with that,” he said. “We felt that there were some positive discussions on that front as well.”

READ MORE: Prince Rupert, Port Edward reach two-year tax agreement on Ridley Island



matthew.allen@thenorthernview.com

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