Coldstream tax rate takes sudden spike
Coldstream taxpayers will have to shell out a few more dollars than originally anticipated for 2011.
Originally the district had planned for a 0.7 per cent tax rate increase, but now the number has nearly doubled to 1.35 per cent.
“It was really a surprise,” said Coun. Maria Besso, after district staff presented the rate which is necessary to cover a drop in assessment values.
“We expected a certain assessment and what happened is that number came in $7.3 million shy.”
The tax rate works out to an additional $14.50 on the average home (assessed at $458,000 in Coldstream). That is up $4.50 from the original rate, which worked out to $10.
“In reality you’re talking about a very small number of dollars per household,” said Besso.
The tax increase is necessary in order to achieve the same revenue targets in the financial plan. Council did have the option to go back to the drawing board on the budget to find ways to absorb the extra tax increase. But tax rates need to be adopted by May 15.
“It would have cost us so much more in staff time,” said Besso.
Besso says she is aware that council could face some backlash from residents.
“If there was a huge outcry, then we’d have to eat crow.”
However some homeowners are getting a bit of a break this year as the provincial Home Owner Grant Program is being increased with an additional $200 credit which will decrease their overall tax bill.