A new year means new levies are coming for utility ratepayers in the City of Trail.
Combined, the residential utilities bill for water, sewer and garbage in 2022 — without discount — totals $816.50, up 1.76 per cent or nearly $14 from last year.
If paid in full, the early payment discount deadline is Monday, Feb. 28.
With discount the homeowner will pay $756.30, thereby saving $60.20.
If utility bills are not paid by the discount date, there is no interest or penalties added and ratepayers have until the end of the year to make full payment.
If utilities are unpaid after Dec. 31 in the year they are levied, the amount owing is transferred to property taxes in arrears and is subject to interest at a rate prescribed by the province.
Through bylaw, Trail council reviews then establishes the rate for water, sewer, and garbage services before the start of a new year.
The utility billing and collection cycle provides early positive cash flow and this is seen to be important from a corporate liquidity perspective, Deputy Director of Finance, Rino Merlo, notes.
“Cash collected ensures the city will not have to borrow in advance of property tax collections,” Merlo furthered. “The utility budget and completion of the billing and collection cycle early in the year also provides a sufficient gap so staff is able to fully complete utilities collection and reconcile accounts before focusing on the generation of property tax notice and collection.”
The rate doesn’t include a $150 residential water parcel tax, which is charged to each residential property to offset capital expenses. The tax was implemented with construction of the water treatment plant and has remained unchanged for decades.