It’s Property Tax Preparation Time Again in Nanaimo!

Ron Bolin  —  August 13, 2010
On July 1 property taxes to the City of Nanaimo for 2010 were due.  It is now time to start the process over again for 2011. Put on your thinking caps and start pondering the city’s Financial Plan and anticipated tax increases. Despite the ever declining economy, the increase in unemployment, the stagnant housing market, increasing homelessness, and vigorous growth in the number of folks needing food assistance, property taxes are anticipated to rise for residential homeowners by 5.7% in 2011. I can’t remember hearing a number that high for the increase in anything positive for several years.

To begin this process, at its Finance and Policy Committee of the Whole (FPCOW) meeting on Monday in the City Hall board room at 4:30pm, Council will start by reviewing the 11 Budget Priorities which they set for themselves and Staff for 2010.  You may remember that these are:

  1. Maintain safe and adequate water supply and sewer services;
  2. Develop a Strategy for increase energy self-sufficiency (including energy production);
  3. Economy/ability to pay, support green industry;
  4. Downtown Hotel;
  5. Recreation facility replacements/sports recreation centre;
  6. Public Transportation;
  7. Environmental protection;
  8. Growth management;
  9. Engage in long-term strategic planning;
  10. Public Safety (police and fire protection;
  11. Create strong pride of place.

While I might and I will carp about the all too slippery nature of these priorities, I nevertheless strongly support this concept.  At Monday’s FPCOW meeting Council should indicate how it has graded itself in meeting these priorities. This year one hopes for a thorough review of these priorities, which to my mind break down into keeping us healthy (1,5,7,10),  wealthy (2,3,6,8,9) and, less productively, perhaps, pre-occupied (4,11).   I hope that Council will rethink these priorities with a view to developing programmatic links to them which will allow both themselves and the public to easily identify the success which they have had in meeting them during the budget year.   It is certain that a tax increase of the order of 5.7% for homeowners is not warranted in the current economic climate and a vigorous defense of that rate is required.

I hope to see you there.