Chilliwack’s tax increase for 2018 is lower than last year’s, and the tax rate ranks among the lowest in the entire Lower Mainland.
Council approved the Rates Bylaw 2018 with a 2.62 per cent tax increase, giving it first, second, and third reading on April 17.
What were the budget priorities?
“The (Financial) Plan provides for additions in public safety, which includes five (5) RCMP members and two (2) additional firefighters.
“It also provides the addition of one (1) Public Works Operations Equipment Operator and two (2) Parks Maintenance workers to support workload, efficiency of services and continue with traffic island greening improvements and landscape beautification within the City,” according to city documents.
Additional funds were set aside for bike lanes, street sweeping and snow removal services. The plan features more investment in road rehabilitation and expanded public transit services.
The 2.62 per cent increase “equates to an approximate increase of $50” for the average single-family dwelling owners, with an assessed value of about $472,079.
The proposed tax rate increase of 2.62 per cent breaks down this way:
• 1.49 per cent – Base tax increase (incl 2 RCMP)
• 0.67 per cent – RCMP officer additions (3 additional RCMP,)
• 0.46 per cent – Public transit expansion
Here’s how the proposed increase of 2.62 per cent compares. Last year the tax rate increase was 3.5 per cent, when council approved 10 new RCMP officers in 2016, and the year before, 2016, it was 1.89 per cent.