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HomeNewsSmithers' council considers new five-year budget

Smithers’ council considers new five-year budget

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.

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