Four per cent tax increase proposed for Pitt Meadows

Most homeowners to pay extra $134 in property taxes next July

Four per cent tax increase proposed for Pitt Meadows

Preliminary estimates predict a general tax rate increase of more than four per cent in the City of Pitt Meadows, which means homeowners could see a spike of around $134 on their tax bills next year.

Presentations by each city department began this week, while business plans, detailing spending and expenses, are available at the library or city hall, and on the city website.

The municipal property tax increase proposed for 2012 is 3.75 per cent for the average homeowner, with a property valued at $381,400.

Combined with increases in drainage, garbage, sewer and water charges, the total increase being proposed is 4.10 per cent, which will mean an increase of $134 over last year for the average homeowner.

Last year, most homeowners in Pitt Meadows saw an increase of around 5.95 per cent.

In a report to council, director of finance Dean Rear said the city continues to operate as a “lean organization” and is always seeking efficiencies and improvements to its services.

In the past few years, the city managed to reduce costs in several areas, including cutting down costs of washing RCMP cars to $11,000 from $42,000 and negotiating a contract with 911 dispatcher ECOMM that’s going to shave $200,000 off its policing budget over the next five years.

Rear said the different departments within city hall are aware of the economic climate and kept that in mind while preparing their business plans for 2012.

“We haven’t had a lot of incremental items come forward, even for discussion at the management level,” he added.

“If fact, most of the internal departments have kept their budgets relatively static.”

Building permit revenue in Pitt Meadows climbed this year to $30 million after plummeting to a seven-year low of just under $26 million in 2010.

The capital works program for 2012 has a proposed budget of $9.2 million.

Projects planned:

• improvement to the McKechnie drainage area;

• moving the library into its new home in Solaris;

• adding a caretakers house at the Pitt Meadows Athletic Park;

• McMyn Park development

• Harris Road sports field renovations;

• replacing the 114 B sewer lift station;

Detailed budget breakdowns are available online. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the city’s financial plan and budget at a committee meeting on Dec. 13. For links to the budget presentations, click here.