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City council: Tax rates get third reading/CBT grants awarded

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
April 30th, 2013

A special meeting of Castlegar city council last night was all about the money, honey, as council doled out Community Initiatives funding and gave the 2013 tax bylaw first, second and third readings.

The Community Initiatives funding, which is paid out by the Columbia Basin Trust based on council’s recommendations, totalled $99,143. The decisions are made after a meeting in which applicants present to council regarding their request, then councillors each submit a list of how much money they would prefer to give to each group. The numbers are averaged out and the money awarded.

The largest grants this year go to SculptureWalk ($20,000), Blueberry Creek Community School Hub ($16,000) and Kootenay Festival ($15,000).

The only other agenda item for the evening was the 2013 tax rate bylaw, which will see residential and commercial rates go up by three per cent, while heavy industry (Celgar) will see a tax reduction of $40,000 as per an earlier agreement between Celgar and the city.

“The city sets the municipal tax rate in accordance with tax strategy developed by city council through the budget process,” said city finance director Andre Buss. “Property taxes for the regional district and the hospital district are calculated using amounts requisitioned by those boards.”

He said this year’s increase would equal about $26 for the average Castlegar homeowner, and provided a chart indicating Castlegar residents will pay less municipal tax than residents of Trail, Nelson, Rossland, Creston and Cranbrook, with Castlegar second only to Fruitvale for lowest municipal rates (based on reported taxes for 2012 and estimates for 2013).

The tax bylaw is expected to be adopted at council’s next regular meeting on May 6 at the Community Forum.

Categories: GeneralPolitics

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