Kamloops residents will buy the Thompson-Nicola Regional District an extra coffee next year as part of the city’s part in funding services like public libraries, the film commission, regional parks and solid-waste planning.
River city residents can expect to see, on average, about a toonie tacked onto their TNRD taxes in 2020. The regional district board has approved its provisional budget, including a tax increase, which bumps the TNRD portion of property tax bills for the average assessed home in the district ($338,000) by $2.06. Other communities in the region will see increases of between 81 cents (Barriere) and $7.62 (Sun Peaks). The estimated increase for Kamloops residents is due to increasing costs of providing those services, primarily salaries.
TNRD finance director Doug Rae told KTW the tax increase equates to less than inflation.
The regional district is not increasing services heading in 2020 and will save money by not having to pay double to the province in MSP premiums. However, one factor impacting the regional district’s bottom line is mill closures.
“Even though we’ve had a general decrease in taxes the past few years, residential taxpayers have generally been experiencing that as a tax increase,” Rae said, citing a general trend in the past five years.
Provisional numbers, however, are just that. Exact numbers will not be known until the new year, after B.C. Assessment calculates property values and assesses growth in each property class. The numbers will be shored up in early spring.
Kamloops pays into the TNRD’s legislative budget, general administration, the public library system, the Fraser Basin Council, the TNRD Film Commission, regional parks, solid-waste planning and regional development.
Kamloops residents would not, for example, pay into a project to improve water quality in Pritchard.
Unlike the City of Kamloops, a public TNRD budget meeting will not be held. Rae said those meetings were historically not well attended. Instead, it talks budget when visiting areas in the region to talk about other issues, such as the water-metering program.
Also approved at last Thursday’s (Nov. 21) meeting was a slight increase to hospital taxes.