Slight drop in Trail property taxes

Based on an average residential home, valued at $181,193, total gross taxes will be about $2,052 compared to $2,061 in 2013.

It’s been a number of years since Trail landowners caught a break on property taxes.

But when the city mails the annual bill later this month, Trail taxpayers will see an actual decrease of about $9 this year.

Based on an average residential home, valued at $181,193, total gross taxes will be about $2,052 compared to $2,061 in 2013.

Taking homeowner grants into account, which remain  $770 for eligible residents under 65, and $1,045 for those over 65, the average residential property owner will pay $1,280 or $107 per month, and seniors $1,005 or $84 per month.

“At this level property taxes are still thought to be affordable as compared to other utility levies,” noted David Perehudoff, Trail’s chief administrative officer in his memo to council.

The loss of regional services including the airport and an economic development initiative has Trail owing less cash to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) this year.

After Trail purchased the local airstrip from the RDKB in March and ended the regional airport service, about $50,000 remained in city hands instead of the regional district’s.

The total reduction of about $163,000 to regional services offsets a four per cent increase the city is imposing on taxpayers to help cover recreational services in Trail and various infrastructure projects slated for the year.

Overall, Trail will pay about 44 per cent of the RDKB’s financial requisition that totals almost $5.5 million this year.

Those tax dollars are used to fund regional services that include a victims assistance program; Lower Columbia culture and arts such as Charles Bailey Theatre operations; regional fire rescue; cemetery upkeep; and local transit.

Included in the city’s budget is a list of this year’s capital projects that total $14.4 million.

The most pricey items include $9.1 million earmarked for the construction of the pedestrian pipe bridge, proposed to break ground in a few months; the purchase of the Trail Regional Airport at almost $1.6 million, which includes terminal upgrades and additional fencing to the area; and civic improvements for $835,000 including Phase 2 of the downtown revitalization plan.

The city’s financial plan and tax rates bylaw received three readings during regular council Monday night and are set to be adopted May 12 at 6 p.m.