Smithers' Town Council met Tuesday night to discuss adopting a newly-proposed five-year budget | © TREVOR HEWITT
If you live in Smithers, your property taxes could increase this year.
That’s because town council met Tuesday night to discuss approving a new five-year budget.
Council still has to adopt the bylaw, but if accepted it would increase overall budgeted revenue for the town by just over $42 million over the next five years.
Of that figure, total revenue from property taxes would increase by $3.45 million over five years, which averages out to an increase of exactly $690,000 annually.
According to Taylor Bachrach, the decision wasn’t made lightly.
He says the changes come as a response to a number of unforeseen expenses that have been brought to council’s attention, citing a report detailing future storm, sanitary and water upgrades the city will have to pay for in the future.
“I believe it was about $150 million dollars in asset replacement over the next 30 years,” Bachrach explained.
He adds that the information was truly “sobering” and that, as the report explained it, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.
“The way [they] explained it was that grants aren’t going to be enough, our reserves aren’t going to be enough and long-term borrowing isn’t going to be enough by itself,” Bachrach said.
“We’re going to need all three.”
The drafted budget also reflects the just over $6.2 million dollars that Smithers received from B.C. as part of their ‘Northern Capital and Planning Grant’ program and a $12.9-million dollar grant the town applied for to fund a proposed library and art gallery.
Interested in reading more? You can check out the newly-proposed budget here.