The City of Quesnel has approved the City of Quesnel Tax and Community Stabilization Bylaw No. 1892, during a virtual council meeting on Tuesday, June 16.
The bylaw sees the creation of the City of Quesnel Tax and Community Stabilization Fund (CQTCSF) and the transfer of all funds in the City’s Tax Stabilization Fund into the CQTCSF.
According to a City staff report, at the end of 2019, the Tax Stabilization Reserve held $1,099,760.64 in funds. The following allocations from this fund are built into the current five year financial plan to offset the effects of the Tolko Closure and to fund one time supplementals in 2020; $458,200 in 2020, $204,387 in 2021 and $78,333 in 2022 for a total of $740,920.
In 2020, Council also approved $180,000 of budget cuts to go towards this account if not needed to offset lost revenues and increased costs due to COVID-19.
According to the report, the fund has been established so that resources can be made available to offset the negative impact of any significant tax re-assessment as well as to provide funds when required for community stabilization due to negative socio-economic impacts.
Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson said the idea for the bylaw came out of councils discussions about potential savings in this years budget because of some adjustments which were made but were not given as tax review and that bylaw 1892 makes it easier for council to use the funds which were previously held in the Tax Stability Fund more easily.
“Really at the end of the day this is us just having the flexibility where if all else fails and there is a need in the community that still meets the requirements of the community charter that we might be able to then use this fund and flex it,” said Mayor Simpson. “Under the old tax stabilization reserve we didn’t have that flexibility so that’s really all were doing, giving ourselves a little bit more latitude on how we might use this reserve.”