During last night’s budget meeting the topic of taxation was brought up in preliminary discussions.
Director of Finance Sheila Thiessen presented Council with three different scenarios for municipal taxation.
In 2019, the average Merritt house (worth $266,000) paid $1,378 in municipal taxes. Due to the increase in property assessments for many Merrittonians, if City Council chooses to keep the tax rate unchanged, the average house (now worth $289,000), would pay $1,497 or a net increase of $119 in municipal taxes this year.
Thiessen also presented a scenario were reserves and surplus would be spent to offset the partial tax-exemption of Merritt Green Energy. That scenario resulted in a $30 increase to the average home, which constitutes an actual decrease in the tax figure, offset by the increase in property assessment values.
The figures being presented to Council were for information purposes as they prepare to begin the task of deciding which capital projects will be tackled in 2020, and how much money will be needed to complete them.
“Our infrastructure needs a lot of care and attention; we can’t pay for all that with no money. Although everybody likes to see their taxes go that way (down), we’ve got some big work that needs to be down in our City if we’re going to maintain things,” said Coun. Kurt Christopherson.
The next budget meeting is February 4, the topic is scheduled to be grant in aid.
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