Rossland property taxes could increase as much as 4.8 per cent in 2018, though Rossland City Council has taken actions to try to limit the jump.
At Monday night’s council meeting, council considered raising the 2018 property tax increase from the 4.0 per cent set out in the 2017-2021 Financial Plan to 4.8 per cent in the 2018-2022 Financial Plan.
As raising the property tax increase from 4.0 per cent to 4.8 per cent would increase the budget $34,000, the additional increase shouldn’t be needed after factoring in the differed projects, but staff will need to review the budget to be sure.
These are of course early days in the discussion of the 2018-2022 Financial Plan and staff was only looking for guidance from council.
Coun. Lloyd McLellan took the stance that raising the increase would be fiscally responsible.
“We’re in the last year of the term and I think we’ve got to be fiscally responsible. You know, we’ve got these expenses, we’ve introduced some initiatives that we want to get done and we’ve got to have the money to do it. And we’ll probably get our reserves back in place,” he said.
Coun. Marten Kruysse was opposed to the increase, arguing that it could be hard for households with an income under $50,000.
“Twenty-eight per cent of our population — so almost one in three of our households — have household incomes of less than $50,000. To me that’s a problem, because these people, in the most part, a lot of them have kids, are spending every dollar to live,” he said. ‘
Mayor Kathy Moore acknowledged Kruysse’s concerns but also pointed out that lower-income households were more likely to rent housing or own houses with a lower assessed value.