By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Feb. 25. 2012.
There is a possibility of a 3. 36 per cent property tax hike if the district ends up using all the money it borrows to fund capital projects.
It’s important to note, however, that the 3.36 per cent tax hike isn’t final yet. It depends on what capital projects the district adds or subtracts as budget discussions carry on.
On a 3.36 per cent tax hike, a house assessed at $374,000, would see its taxes increase by $45. A possible increase of $72 dollars in utilities is also expected on that assessment.
Squamish council passed a loan authorization bylaw at the regular council meeting on Tues, Feb. 21, to borrow $10 million from Municipal Finance Authority.
The money will be used to fund critical infrastructure. The district also faces an inflated bill for RCMP as funding formula changes for municipalities with population over 15,000.
In the coming few months, the council will decide the exact infrastructure items it wants to keep in the budget process.
Loan borrowing is akin to getting a mortgage pre-approval on a home.
In budget discussions that will follow throughout the next few months, councillors will decide what items they want.
At a long budget meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21, staff gave the council a snapshot of capital projects that will be carried forward from 2011 and the new capital projects for 2012.
Skyline Drive Bank stabilisation, cycling paths initiative, dyke rip-rap, O’Siyam Pavilion Park, Corridor Trail are some of the capital projects Squamish completed in 2011.
Centennial Way lighting, Valleycliffe Trail, seepage repair on dike, gravel removal from the Squamish River, and landfill upgrade are some of the capital projects that will be carried forward from 2011.
Government Road Trunk Sewer, seismic upgrades to a fire hall, turf field, and community policing office security upgrades are some of the capital projects for 2012.