Port Edward residents will pay less taxes in 2019. (Northern View file photo)

Tax decrease for Port Edward residents

Residents paying less taxes than Prince Rupert, a new financial plan, and Seafest soccer tournament

Port Edward district council passed its 2019 Tax Rate Bylaw on Tuesday night with three out of five council members present.

Port Edward residents will pay $82.15 in property taxes per one thousand dollars of taxable value. This is a decrease from the 2018 tax rate which was set at $83.09.

In comparison, residents of Prince Rupert pay on average five per cent more taxes than its neighbouring district, for the same assessments.

Part of the reason for the higher taxes in Prince Rupert is that Port Edward receives a major portion of their revenue from the Ridley Island Tax Sharing Agreement, an agreement to allocate 17 per cent of Ridley Island tax revenues to Port Edward to offset the health and environmental costs, according to Polly Pereira, director of corporate administrative services.

The original deal was struck in 1980 for 20 per cent of revenues but was later renegotiated to 17 per cent to offset the costs of Port Edward residents using Prince Rupert’s facilities such as the library and swimming pool.

READ MORE: All candidates agree, Ridley Island tax agreement stays

Financial plan

The district also passed their 2019 financial plan for the next five years. Port Edward is anticipated to receive $1.20 million dollars in net tax revenues from the City of Prince Rupert from the agreement, their biggest source of revenue for 2019 other than money received from provincial and grant applications totalling $2.3 million.

Revenues for the year will amount to $5.6 million with just over two million of the revenues transferred to the reserve.

READ MORE: Dispute over Ridley Island taxes

Other council news:

The Port Edward Recreational, Cultural Society (PERCS) will be hosting a 2019 Seafest Soccer Tournament, Masters Division on June 7-9. The district donated $1,000 dollars toward the event to help PERCS’s fundraising effort to pay for the costs of balls, trophies, and referees. Mayor Knut Bjorndal expressed concern over the quality of the soccer field, which is in poor condition and will require capital to fix. Councillor James Brown is confident the event will be good exposure for the soccer players and hopes to make it a yearly event.

The next district council meeting is scheduled for May 28 at 7 p.m.


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