Happy New Year! Now, open your wallet!
Meet Kam, your average Kamloopsian just trying to get by and keep the wolves at bay. Kam is giving you a glimpse at a day in his life in 2012 as we track the extra costs associated with his daily activity, courtesy of the municipal, provincial and federal governments. All figures are annual, unless otherwise noted. Of course, this is simply a sample of the many fees and taxes that will increase this year.
It’s a balmy, but dark, start to a January morning for Kam.
He gets out of bed at six in the morning and heads straight to the bathroom (city property tax increase = $40, Thompson-Nicola Regional District tax increase = $8).
After a quick flushing of his system (city sewer-rate increase = $12) and a splash of some cold water on his face (city water-service increase = $26), Kam wakes up his son Loops to get ready for hockey practice at Memorial Arena (city youth ice-use per hour increase = $5.10).
Still a little sleepy, Kam needs a bit of java in the morning, so he brews a cup of coffee (BC Hydro rate increase = $36).
Once dressed and ready, Kam and Loops say goodbye to mom and head out the door.
The pair load up the car (ICBC rate increase = $27) and drive to the arena (B.C. carbon tax increase = $22).
Halfway down the street, Kam remembers its garbage pick-up day (garbage and recycling-collection rate increase = $6.52) and has to go back to take out the trash.
Following hockey practice, Kam drops Loops off at school (school-tax increase on its way in the spring) on his way to an eight-hour day at work (Canadian Pension Plan and Employment Insurance increase = $142).
It turned out to be a busy Christmas, at least around the dinner table, so one of Kam’s new year’s resolutions is to lose a few holiday pounds.
So, after work, it’s time to go to the Tournament Capital Centre for a workout (monthly adult membership increase = $1).
Then it’s on to the Canada Games Pool for a swim (adult single-admission pass increase = 50 cents).
It turns out that hamstring wasn’t what it used to be when Kam played high school football and will likely need some attention at some point (medical services plan increase = $84).
Kam finishes his workout and goes home to spend some time with his family.
After dinner, they decide to go for a skate at Valleyview Arena (public-skate increase for youth = 25 cents, for adults = 50 cents).
While leaving the ice, Kam falls and nearly cracks his head open on the hard surface.
Luckily, he escapes death as entering the afterlife isn’t getting any cheaper (single-death internment increase = $42).
It’s time to come home and settle in for the night.
However, all that time on the ice has given Kam and his wife a bit of a chill, so to add a little bit of warmth, he turns on the fireplace (Fortis BC increase = $32).
Then it’s off to bed for Kam and his family, only to empty their pockets and do it all over again tomorrow.
Cost of exercising rising in Tournament Capital
That won’t be any different for Kamloops residents in 2012, especially when it comes to recreation.
After a year reprieve due to the harmonized sales tax, almost any fee you can think of in the parks and recreational department is going up — and will continue to do so each year until 2014.
For example, booking a soccer field for the day now costs an extra $30 in 2012 for adults, up to $168 and topping out at $175 by 2014.
The youth rate has increased to $105 a day, up from $90 during the last two years.
Planning an adult softball tournament on city-owned ball fields like McArthur Island?
The fee has increased to $91 this year from $70 in 2011. By 2014, the cost will more than double to $147 per day.
On a smaller scale, booking the track at Hillside Stadium for a youth event for a day will cost an extra $3.50 in 2012 and $7 by 2014.
Tournament Capital Centre general admission and membership fees are also rising.
An annual adult membership to the TCC costs $532 in 2012 and will rise to $552 by 2014, compared to $513 last year.
Fees at Charles Anderson and Norbrock stadiums have also increased this year.
Jeff Putnam, parks, recreation facilities and business operations manager, said the fee increases are an effort to get cost-recovery on city facilities up to 50 per cent.
“What we’re trying to do is strike a balance between making it affordable so these groups can use it [facilities] but, at the same time, helping out the tax payers reduce the subsidy to maintain them,” he said.
Based on past rates, Putnam noted, the city wasn’t close to meeting its cost-recovery target, but the increases should make it close by 2014.
He explained the costs to maintain various fields around Kamloops increase every year.
“It’s a delicate balancing act, but I think we’ve done a good job,” Putnam said.
Meanwhile, if you think death will end the assault on your purse, thing again.
Almost every fee related to the city’s cemetery operations is increasing.
By 2015, the standard adult grave at Hillside Cemetery will cost $1,197, compared to $938 in 2010.