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Coldstream prepares for tax increase

Financial pressures mean Coldstream taxpayers will be paying more.

Council gave two readings Monday to the 2013 budget, which includes a 4.12 per cent tax increase.

“It provides the same level of service and takes into account some cost increases that we don’t have a lot of control over unless we reduce police officers,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.

The budget translates into a $40 hike in taxes for a home assessed at $400,000.

“That’s 77 cents a week. That’s not a significant amount of money,” said Trevor Seibel, director of financial administration.

The reasons for the increase are the transition from the HST to the PST, wage increases, RCMP costs, fire department training, higher operational costs, the official community plan review and principle for the mechanic shop.

The net additional cash requirement for 2013 is $176,940.

Seibel says a lot of thought has gone into the budget.

“The economy is still sluggish and we still hear that things are slow to recover,” he said.

“But there is high demand for services and as a result, services cost more.”

The public can review the proposed budget at an open house Feb. 20 from 6 to 9 p.m.

“We can tell people where we are spending the money. They can agree or not and let us know,” said Garlick.

The goal is to have the budget adopted by council in mid-April.

For the record

The Morning Star wishes to correct an article in the Jan. 27 edition. The actual cost for 18.5 hours of overtime work for the District of Coldstream over the Christmas break was $550 and not $550,000 as was stated in the article. The Morning Star apologizes for the error and any inconvenience it caused.

 

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