The City of Pitt Meadows council has approved a 2022 budget with a property tax and utilities increase of 5.30 per cent.
The increase is slightly lower for multi-family properties at 5 per cent, for an additional charge of $113 per year or $9 per month, for next year’s tax bill and will be at $181 per year or $15 per month for single-family properties.
Mayor Bill Dingwall pointed out that the approved budget showed investments in areas important to the city’s growing community such as health, safety and culture, while ensuring that the city is set up for success in the future by providing important contributions to its asset savings reserves.
The breakdown for the $181 increase, has two 2021 council decisions that have impacted the budget; the adoption of E-Comm radio system and the cost for two full-time firefighters accounted for $36 or a 1.05 per cent.
Non-discretionary charges related to Metro Vancouver water and sewage treatment as well as the RCMP policing costs that includes a provision related to a 5-year retro-active pay raise pertaining to a newly negotiated collective agreement, account for $55 or a 1.60 per cent increase.
A $43 or 1.28 per cent allocation has also been made towards city departments to maintain existing service levels.
While $47 or 1.37 per cent have been earmarked towards asset savings that would go towards future replacement of aging infrastructure and ensuring long-term sustainability.
“Staff and council have worked together to deliver a budget that provides exceptional value for our investments and in 2021 Pitt Meadows had the lowest tax rates for a single-family home in the Metro Vancouver region,” said Dingwall.
The City, which has had the lowest tax rates for a single-family home historically, had the lowest combined tax and utility rates in the Lower Mainland for the last six years, and is expected to remain among the lowest this year, according to the city.
The council is yet to allocate budgets to two projects, one, to develop a place of remembrance within the city for residents to have a space to pay tribute to loved ones and the other one is to add accessibility upgrades to the Heritage hall. The city will allocate budget once the staff identifies a suitable location for the place of remembrance and once all options around the Heritage hall upgrades have been assessed.
According to CAO Mark Roberts, the 2022 budget is primarily focused on preserving services and keeping much-needed capital projects on track in response to increased inflation, rising costs and the continued uncertainty of COVID-19 and its potential impacts.
”There is always a delicate balance between mitigating tax increases while ensuring the long-term sustainability of city services. As well, the city is making necessary investments to ensure future infrastructure needs are able to be met with annual contributions to the asset reserve savings,” he said.
People will be able to view the council budget deliberations held on Dec. 13, by visiting: pittmeadows.ca/councilmeetings.
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