Council to hear plan to mitigate problems with proposed parcel tax
City council will be hearing about a Lot Line Consolidation Plan to address issues some residents are having with a controversial new 10-year parcel tax proposed in the city’s 2016 budget.
The concern stems from an area in the city in which parcels were designated according to subdivision plan 650, which was completed in 1897. As a result of small parcels in that area, it was, according to a city report, ‘common practice’ for residents to purchase two adjacent parcels and build a home straddling both, so as to have adequate space for a home.
The difficulty being that, according to provincial law, a parcel tax has to be applied to every parcel in the city, meaning these specific property owners are facing being charged the $150-per-year tax twice or even three times, once for each parcel, despite having only one residence.
“We wanted to charge the tax once per folio, as opposed to per parcel, but provincial law doesn’t allow that,” said city manager John Malcolm.
The alternative is for individual owners to consolidate their parcels by having the dividing lines removed and thus the lot designated a single property.
All of this is why city staff is presenting the Lot Line Consolidation Plan at council’s May 2 meeting tomorrow evening.
“In order to assist property owners with legally removing lot lines that bisect their homes, it is proposed that the City credit back parcel tax levies once the homeowner has consolidated his or her property,” said city director of finance Andre Buss in his report to council (this can be viewed in the council meeting package on the city’s website at www.castlegar.ca/meetings/php ). “It is further recommended that this program be made available up until December 31, 2017.This will give property owners time to adjust to the new parcel tax.”
Council will have several options once the plan is presented: to accept it, to reject it, to send it back to committee for more information or changes, or to table the plan.
The meeting will be held Monday evening at 7 p.m. at the Community Forum, which is downtown beside City Hall. For more information, contact City Hall at 250-365-7227.