City council reviewed the 2022 consolidated budget at a special meeting Thursday, Feb. 17. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

City council reviewed the 2022 consolidated budget at a special meeting Thursday, Feb. 17. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Grand Forks city taxes to go up some, according to latest budget update

The consolidated budget funds a ‘robust’ overhaul to aging civic infrastructure, says top staffer

Municipal property taxes are set to rise moderately this year, according to the city’s consolidated budget for 2022.

The city is slated to take in around two per cent more taxes than in 2021, according to Mayor Brian Taylor, who spoke with The Gazette Tuesday Feb. 22.

“We’re trying to keep things as affordable as possible,” Taylor said, calling the budget “highly complex” because it incorporates much of the city’s upcoming flood works.

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Around 40 per cent of homeowners will pay around $90 less in property taxes in 2022 than they did in 2021, with roughly another 40 per cent paying an average of $40 more. There will be no increase to utility fees, with council drawing on $700,000 in community gas tax funds to balance the budget, among other strategies, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Duncan Redfearn explained at a special council meeting Thursday, Feb. 17.

Over all, Redfearn said the consolidated budget shows few changes to the draft budget city council received in late January.

The total budget is expected to come in at around $41.3 million, leaving a roughly $3,000 surplus by year’s end. That number is down from the $8,000 earlier projected by city hall, reflecting council’s decision at its Feb. 14 council meeting to grant a $5,000 fee for service to the non-profit society that operates Phoenix Mountain ski hill.

The CAO highlighted that the average assessed value of Grand Forks homes shot up by around $100,000 over the year ending July 1, 2021. In response, the city dropped its tax rate by around 22 per cent.

For an average home, currently valued at $373,000, this translates to a property tax hit of roughly $1,300 — a nearly seven per cent increase over the roughly $1,250 in property taxes in 2021, when an average home was valued $100,000 lower.

The 2022 budget sets aside roughly $2.85 million in “very robust” funding overhaul of the city’s worn out infrastructure, according to Redfearn.

The city’s upcoming dike works will add $20 million in capital expenditures, to be offset by a corresponding grant under the Disaster Mitigation and Adaption Fund (DMAF) charter between the city and the federal and provincial governments. The consolidated budget includes the city’s $1.5 million contribution to DMAF, which had already been earmarked for that purpose.

City council will approve a final budget in May.


 

@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

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laurie.tritschler@boundarycreektimes.com

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budgetCity HallGrand ForksProperty taxes