Regional District of Kootenay Boundary tax increase may be on horizon

Trail residents could be paying 4% more for their regional district taxes this year, according to the RDKB.

Residents in Trail could be paying four per cent more for their regional district taxes this year, according to preliminary budget numbers compiled by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

Although still not finalized, the RDKB could be placing a further 4.08 per cent requisition increase for taxes in 2012 on services it extends to the city as it prepares to put the final touches on its $18 million region-wide requisition budget for 2012.

For Trail taxpayers on an average $250,000 property assessment, the increase means a $44 rise in taxes to $1,136.

However, there are still two hurdles left to clear — finance committee approval next week and RDKB board final approval at the end of the month — before the “living document” becomes entrenched, said RDKB director of finance Gerry Gardner.

“The numbers are interim,” he said. “And they are going to keep changing right up until the time we have to approve it, which is the end of the month.”

Throughout the region, the RDKB is asking for a 5.4 per cent overall tax requisition increase in 2012 from its 2011 number, representing a $925,450 rise in the 2012 tax requisition over the $17.1 million amount the RDKB asked for in 2011.

Tax increases for individual residents throughout the regional district vary according to property assessment and the services being extended to the area.

Area A’s preliminary requisition is around 5.25 per cent as of this week, with Area B at 2.07 and Area C at 12 per cent. Area D around Grand Forks is almost a five per cent increase, while Area E is nearly zero at .5 per cent and Big White is 3.3 per cent.

For the municipalities, Fruitvale is 1.96 per cent, Grand Forks 4.25 per cent, Montrose one per cent, Warfield 2.6 per cent and Rossland is at 4.6 per cent.

There were two municipalities that dropped in their tax requisitions, with Greenwood going down by nine per cent and Midway descending by four per cent.

There have been five town hall meetings in the five electoral areas on the budget, explaining the details for each area, with Area A being the last one on Monday night in Fruitvale. Eight people came out to the meeting, said Area A director Ali Grieve.

“If there is a big issue they will come out and if it status quo and things are okay,” she said. “(Directors and the RDKB) all work very hard to keep zero requisition increases, but through cost of living or labour costs, there are some things you can’t avoid.”

In all, the regional district provides 65 services to five rural electoral areas — including the Beaver Valley (Area A) — and eight municipalities, including Trail, Montrose, Fruitvale, Warfield and Rossland.

Those numbers are only for the regional district’s portion of the tax bill for the services they provide. The tax requisition number does not include municipal taxes for those living within those boundaries, or provincial taxes.