The public has been screaming for more police in Chilliwack to deal with rampant property crime.
City council is taking a major leap forward in this direction hiring 10 new RCMP officers for 2017, as well as two RCMP information officers.
As a result the proposed property tax rate increase for Chilliwack is higher than usual, according to the staff report to council Tuesday, the 2017 Financial Planning Update.
The tax increase is sitting at 3.5% in the preliminary plan, of which 1.45% can be attributed to the additional policing resources.
It’s going to mean about $60 more on a typical Chilliwack homeowner’s bill.
The rate increase is higher than last year’s 1.89%, and higher than the rate of 1.49% the year before that.
Without that substantial boost to policing resources, the base property tax increase would have been 1.85%.
The financial plan covers ongoing road rehabilitation and repaving, a transit expansion, one additional firefighter, and one operations worker for the public works crews.
The transit expansion, with increased bus frequency and extended routes, will have a net taxation impact in 2017 of .30%.
The 2017 financial plan is also being talked about months ahead of usual, in order to give Chilliwack residents ample time to reflect and offer budget feedback with the “engagement tool” available online.
Public input is being sought online until Nov. 10.
There’s a link at http://chilliwack.citizenbudget.com, where residents are asked to rate their municipal service priorities, or by email to email@example.com or in person/mail: Finance Department, 8550 Young Rd. Chilliwack, B.C., V2P 8A4.