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HomeNewsSmithers council eying a 9.55% tax increase as budget talks begin

Smithers council eying a 9.55% tax increase as budget talks begin

Smithers taxes could be going up about 9.55 per cent this year as budget talks began on Monday (January 29th). 

The increase can be attributed to: 

  • $227,000 increase to the town’s RCMP contract (2.6 per cent) 
  • $282,500 on several municipal asset management plans (3.3 per cent) 
  • $82,500 for a Communications Officer position (1.0 per cent) 
  • $285,864 annual cost escalation (3.3 per cent) 

During the Finance Commitee meeting, Councilors Laura Leonard, John Buikema, and Calvin Elliot voiced concerns about having an increase that high. 

“I do support the changes that [Council’s] made but when it’s put together and it’s +10 per cent, I can’t support that high of an increase,” said Leonard. 

Some budget cutting measures were brought up during the meeting. 

One was to decrease the budgeted full-time RCMP officers from 11 to 10, which would decrease the budget by about $200,000 as 10 officers were only reached in one quarter during the last two years. 

For 2025, Councilor Frank Wray proposed town council set a tax increase goal when budget planning begins in July so next year’s increase isn’t as big. 

No changes were made to the budget prior to the committee sending it back to staff with Councilors Leonard and Elliot opposed to not making changes. 

The final tax increases will be finalized during a council meeting in March.

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