Cutting costs at Prince Rupert City Hall

For years, really since I got here, people have been telling me about the high tax rate the people in Prince Rupert pay.

For years, really since I got here, people have been telling me about the high tax rate the people in Prince Rupert pay compared to similar sized communities and [in some cases] larger centres around the province.

After being here and getting to know the town, it seems to me that part of the high tax rate has to do with maintaining service levels in the midst of a population drop that saw Prince Rupert go from about 18,000 people in the late 1990s to below 13,000 people in the last census. And it’s true, I may not have been here back in the day, but it doesn’t sound like a lot of services run by the City of Prince Rupert have dropped off the map. Yes there have been cutbacks, but the City still operates a performing arts centre, a golf course, and recreational opportunities in terms of the civic centre and the swimming pool seem to be about on par with when the mill was still open and fishing was king.

The result has been that the City of Prince Rupert has the highest payroll in northern BC for communities of its size and one that is $5.6 million higher than neighbouring Terrace.

And while the services have stayed the same, the tax base has gone down and the infrastructure has continued to age and degrade. Coupled with the fact that there is a need for a new RCMP detachment, there is a lot being put on the backs of the taxpayer.

Now it seems that council is beginning to look at some tough decisions in terms of operations that would help prevent or at least minimize the year-over-year tax increases that people in the community have seen. In the past several weeks we’ve heard council and mayor Mussallem, in particular it seems, speak about selling the golf course, turning over the Digby Island ferry to the port authority, reducing tax exemptions for different community groups and more.

These are not going to be popular decisions with a lot of people, especially those involved with the community groups and those who want a definitive and certain future for the golf course. But it’s the reality of being an elected official in a community that some would argue still has a substantial problem with unemployment – you are going to ruffle some feathers, but the interest of the vast majority should come before the desire of few.

Or as the old saying goes, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

There are going to be some tough conversations to be had in the coming year, and I’m sure the community will have more than enough to say about what is being planned. But you do have to tip your hat to council for at least bringing up potential solutions to a long-standing

concern.

Just Posted

Prince Rupert Rampage to start a brief road trip

The Prince Rupert Rampage head out east on a road trip to Williams Lake and Quesnel.

Ottawa apologizes to Japanese family in B.C. after chopping historic cherry trees

Plaque installed in Prince Rupert to honour the memory of Shotaro Shimizu

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Rainmaker Liam McChesney commits to Utah State University

Charles Hays Rainmakers’ forward will play on the U.S. school’s basketball team in 2019-2020

Up to 20 cannabis stores possible in Prince Rupert

City planner said it’s ‘ludicrous’ to expect that many shops downtown

This Week – Episode 111

Selena Horne, Charles Hays high school musical star, co-hosts the Northern View’s weekly show

Delivering the paper as a family

The Northern View is looking for newspaper carriers in Prince Rupert, join our team today

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Most Read