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Spallumcheen trims tax hike

Spallumcheen has re-examined its budget to move an originally projected 12 per cent tax hike down to four per cent.

“We’ve been going through every line item and just chopping wherever we can,” said Mayor Janice Brown.

Initially, the township anticipated the tax increase to be 12 per cent, due to the fact that an increase in population forces Spallumcheen to now pay 70 per cent of policing costs.

(Municipalities with a population between 5,000 and 15,000 residents pay 70 per cent of policing costs. The recent census shows Spallumcheen’s population has reached 5,055, which means the township will now have to pay for policing.)

“But we only pay for the policing for April 1st and we did have some money in our reserves,” said Brown.

The other factor is that residents have already been paying rural policing costs, which amounts to nearly eight per cent.

“They were already paying for policing,” said Brian Freeman-Marsh, chief financial officer.

“Instead of collecting it for the province we will be collecting it for the district and then paying the province.”

The four per cent tax increase works out to an additional $62 above 2011 on the average Spallumcheen home (assessed at $255,093).

The 2012 budget with the four per cent increase must be set by May 15, therefore a special council meeting will be held Monday at 7 p.m. to adopt the financial plan.

 

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