Infrastructure needs focus of Telkwa budget

  • May. 4, 2011 6:00 p.m.

If your home is assessed at the average value for Telkwa you’ll see your tax bill drop just enough to buy an extra coffee on the way to work.

Based on a property assessed at $170,000 — the average for the community — the tax bill will drop $2.

Taxpayers dodged the bullet of a $198 increase thanks to the homeowners grant (HOG) which saw a boost of $200.

Before the difference from the HOG, the property tax for a home assessed at $170,000 went from $1,850 to $2,048. With the HOG that value is $1,848.

Telkwa councillor Rimas Zitkauskas, who is the chair of the town’s finance committee, said that residents are seeing a return to tax rates pre-worldwide recession.

“We’re returning the residential property mil rate to levels that were in existence in 2008, prior to the economic downturn,” he said.

The council in 2008 decided to drop the mil rate from 6.3 to 5.1, to provide relief from taxes when the economy tanked.

The mil rate is how many dollars are paid on every $1,000 of taxable assessment.

The rate now won’t be quite at 6.3 — it’ll only go to 6.1 for 2011 —  but it is enough for the village to go ahead with necessary infrastructure projects, said Zitkauskas.

As far as any single “big thing” goes in the budget, he points to the study to find out the condition of the village’s offices. The village is studying whether their offices are safe structurally and for the safety of the workers.

“If those assessments are determined to have any negative impact … then we’ll be moving forward — in consulting with the public — providing the village with a new municipal office.”

The village’s five-year financial plan has factored in a $1 million expenditure for a new municipal office, under a loan with a 30 year repayment plan.

Approximately 47 per cent of the village’s reserve accounts were dipped into. According to village documents, they began 2011 with $374,652, and the year will end with the total at $175,619.

That means the village won’t have to borrow as much money for some projects

In 2011, Telkwa will be making just under $200,000 in loan payments, to offset the standing 2010 balance of $532,092 that covers some capital purchases and other loans.

Light industries mil rate is 22.05, and business’ stands at 12.37.