Vernon council has voted to adjust this year’s residential tax rates to ease the burden on businesses.
Councillor Brian Quiring feels local merchants need the support.
“You have utility costs going up, water rates are going up, everything is going up. Yes, we need to help businesses out. Anything we can do to help them will give them a break,” Quiring tells Kiss FM.
Council’s move will shift $100,000 of total tax burden from business to residential properties.
The option was one of three council considered, with option 3 passing by a 4-2 margin. (Mayor Akbal Mund was not present at Monday’s meeting)
Of the $37.8 million of taxes necessary for a balanced budget, $23.1 million will be derived from residential property owners, and $11.8 million from business property owners.
City taxes will increase by 3.58 per cent this year, or an extra $49 for the average residential property.
The increase works out to 1.9 per cent for capital projects in Vernon—including road, sewer and facility improvements—and 1.68 per cent for operating expenses.
“Vernon currently has 17,581 residential properties and 1,377 business properties. In 2016, the average residential property paid $1,252 in general municipal taxes; for 2017 that amount will be $1,301, a difference of $49. The business property tax increase will average 3.49 per cent,” says City communications officer Tanya Laing Gahr.
Tax rates are calculated by multiplying the property assessment (provided by BC Assessment) by the established mill rate as part of the balanced budget equation. For both business and residential property owners, the mill rate will be reduced in 2017.
In 2016, the business mill rate was 9.9847; in 2017, the mill rate will be 9.8522.
In 2016, the residential mill rate was 3.6716, and for 2017 it will be 3.6103.