On April 28, the city held a public hearing at the Memorial Hall as part of the formal adoption process for the city’s financial plan, which is mandated by the Municipal Act.
“It was very different from what we did in the past, but this is a requirement for us and we did everything we could to reduce the risk of transmission,” said Mayor Larry Johansson.
After the public hearing, City Council gave the Tax Levy By-law first reading. While the presentation is over, Johannson encouraged citizens to visit the city’s website to see the full plan online.
“We are very proud of the work the city and the school division has done to keep expenses low. We have worked hard to encourage new growth in the community which helps to spread the tax burden. Because of all that work, the average single-family household will see a small decrease in their taxes this year. And frankly that couldn’t come at a better time” said Johannson.
Hard work showing on your bill
City Chief Administrative Officer Duane Nicol said that the average savings would be about $27, but that some will see a larger savings.
“It’s an average, so about half will see larger savings and half will see less. A part of this can be attributed to the growth in the community, particularly in apartments, and the expanding of the tax base” said Nicol.
Nicol said the financial plan represents Council’s desire to keep property taxes low and make investments in the City’s strategy priorities.
“It’s progress with fiscal prudence. It’s a responsible approach to building a more financially sustainable community”.
Relieving some of the pressure
Johannson said that while other sectors are getting financial support during the pandemic, municipalities are not. He says the city provides critical services and must keep those running.
“This is a difficult time for all of us. With this financial plan, Council has approved a two-month grace period after the payment deadline so that people can have extra time to pay their taxes if they need. It’s a measure that provides a bit more flexibility for those who need it, and I’m very happy that Council has taken this step” said Johannson.
Nicol said the grace period for tax payments means there will be no penalties or interest charges to 2020 property taxes for two months after the July 31 deadline.
The full 2020 Financial Plan can be viewed at www.myselkirk.ca/financialplan2020