Cariboo Regional District homeowners are facing an estimated 4.1 per cent tax increase in 2023 due to inflationary pressures, according to preliminary budget estimates.
Chief Financial Officer Kevin Erickson said the Board has requested staff to undertake further refinements to the budget, which will be presented for further consideration at its Jan. 12 committee meeting. The revised budget will also incorporate changes to property assessments, which will be released by BC Assessment on Jan. 2.
BC Assessment has already sent letters to residents who will see significant impacts, Erickson said, adding most of the letters he has seen have gone to residents of the rural areas surrounding Williams Lake.
“What it looks like is a general overall increase that is being seen,” he said, but added: “Just because a person sees their property assessment go up 30 per cent, it doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in the taxes they pay because their neighbours are probably seeing the exact same increase.”
Erickson noted that not every service will see a uniform tax increase. Tax requisitions for some fire departments, for example, will rise by 10 to 15 per cent to replace fire trucks and tenders, while other functions such as sub-regional recreation will be lower than 4.1 per cent.
Increases will also be made to help cover the costs of construction projects and repairs across the CRD. Janitorial contractors will also need to be paid more as their costs increase in kind.
“We can’t expect them to do it for nothing or at a loss for us. Our operations are experiencing what people are experiencing in everyday life. We can try and minimize our costs but we can’t make them completely go away.”
He said he is in the process of reviewing which projects will require funding and calculating how much utilities will cost next year.
“We’re more worried about next year than five years down the road because so much can happen in between,” Erickson said. “I’m diligently working to get everything together to put a good package together that provides people with information.”
The board will adopt a balanced five-year financial plan by March 31, 2023.