Tofino taxpayers will be digging deeper into their wallets than initially expected this year as the town’s municipal council recently approved an 11 per cent tax increase.
The district plans to spend just under $33 million in 2022 and collect $5.65 million in taxes.
Director of financial services Nyla Attiana’s early estimate in February suggested property taxes would increase by about 4 per cent, but in a presentation to council on May 5 she explained that estimate had doubled.
“The tax increase that was at 4 per cent in February has moved up to 8.03 per cent,” she said.
She added that the total general taxation increase in 2022 will be 11.03 per cent, which includes a 5 per cent increase to the capital and infrastructure levy and a 2 per cent decrease for debt servicing.
She said the budget aims to address housing by providing reductions to development cost charges, targets ageing infrastructure, adds staffing resources and boosts recreation and child care capacity.
She added that 2022’s budget will invest $2 million into infrastructure, including roads and sidewalks and parks and recreation facilities and that another $3.76 million will be invested from 2023-2026.
She said the recently announced district staff restructuring will require additional office space and laid out a $141,670 plan that includes the purchase of two 10’ by 32’ trailers to create additional office spaces near the municipal hall and public works yard.
She added purchasing the trailers would be “far more economical” than leasing.
The district is also continuing its pursuit of a $7 million recreation facility project and is looking to purchase a new tsunami siren for $70,000, including installation.
The biggest financial ticket on the docket is the longstanding, and federally mandated, wastewater treatment plant that is currently expected to cost about $77 million.
Tofino’s 11.03 per cent increase for 2022 was officially approved by council on May 10 and is right in line with neighbouring Ucluelet, which recently approved an 11.06 per cent increase.
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