Budget talks proceed

The District of Lake Country will be asked to pick one of four options to fund the Transportation for Tomorrow

  • Nov. 29, 2015 2:00 p.m.

The District of Lake Country will be asked to pick one of four options to fund the 20-year, $30-million Transportation for Tomorrow plan at a special budget meeting Tuesday.

District staff is recommending a proposal that would levy a $100 parcel tax in 2016 followed by a series of tax increases over the next  three years, to raise the $30 million necessary to deal with its 200 kilometres of roads, many of which are aging and in need of repair over the next 20 years.

The parcel tax would collect around $500,000 for the first year of the Transportation for Tomorrow plan.

“This would give us an opportunity to begin the program with some confidence that targeted projects be executed and completed in accordance with the programs identified in the Transportation for Tomorrow Plan,” said chief administrative officer Alberto De Feo.

Along with the one-time parcel tax to begin implementing the plan, the recommendation calls for subsequent tax hikes in 2017, 2018 and 2019 at a rate of 2.27 to 2.32 per cent.

On top of that council will also meet on its regular 2016 budget on Tuesday which at this time is proposing a 2.85 per cent tax increase  next year.

The Transportation For Tomorrow funding strategy is separate from the budget discussions.

According to a report, the Transportation For Tomorrow Plan requires $1.5 million for roads and active transportation infrastructure. Council has already approved the allocation of $350,000 from the annual Gas Tax allowance for the program. The remaining $1.15 million will be directly collected from the district taxpayers.

Based on a study from Urban Systems, the amount required to cover the cost of the program equates to $214 (plus $1 to administer the program for a total of $215) per household per year.

The consultant has put together four recommendations in total, all of which are hybrid options that include both a parcel tax followed by property taxes.

Lake Country council will also deal with its regular budget on Tuesday with the proposed budget including a 2.85 per cent increase.