The Thompson-Nicola Regional Hospital Board has rubber-stamped a 10-year tax increase to hospital taxes, due in part to future expansion of Royal Inland Hospital.
“In the master plan document that was done, it showed a third type of building in the back, across from where the parkade is, where the alumni tower is,” TNRD CAO Sukh Gill told KTW.
“All that needs to be defined as we move forward, but that’s what that master plan shows.”
Through the next decade, residents can expect to pay 1.5 per cent more each year on the hospital tax portion of their property tax bill. The increase amounts to about $2.25 for the average household in the hospital district, which in 2018 was valued at $311,000.
Gill said the tax increase would also go toward offsetting rising interest rates and building reserves.
“They’ll [TNRD board] evaluate it each year, but that’s sort of the direction,” Gill said.
Meanwhile, Kamloops residents will also likely see a small increase next year in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District portion of their property tax bills, while the rest of the region will see a decrease.
The board passed the 2019 provisional budget, with a 1.1 per cent overall tax decrease anticipated. The rate could change depending on BC Assessment and growth figures that will become available early next year and help to shore up numbers.
The decrease is the result of cost-cutting primarily in the solid-waste management service, which will be reduced by $1 million in 2019.
“That’s mainly been cost efficiencies and savings that’s come out of the past 10 years,” TNRD finance director Doug Rae said.
Kamloops, however, does not benefit from that cut because it does not participate in the TNRD’s solid-waste management.
As such, River City residents will see an anticipated increase of $1.30 in 2019 based on an average TNRD assessed household.
Almost all other municipalities and electoral areas will see a decrease of up to $34, with the exception of Cherry Creek which is expected to remain the same.
Other impacts on this year’s budget include five new volunteer fire protection services — including at Tobiano, where a hall will be built — and increased payroll costs due to the B.C. NDP government’s new payroll health tax.
The slight tax increases for Kamloops residents come in addition to a proposed 3.4 per cent tax increase for the city’s portion of property taxes, which comes as a result of adding RCMP officers, increasing the city’s streets budget and costs downloaded from the provincial government (employer health tax and other rate increases.)
Final numbers will not be set until the new year.