Delta homeowners can expect to pay approximately $75 extra in property taxes this year.
Delta council gave third readings to its 2016 Annual Tax Rate Bylaws Monday night, endorsing an overall municipal tax increase of 3.5 per cent.
The $75 increase can be expected by owners of a single-family home having an assessed value of $675,000, the average in the municipality.
Karl Preuss, director of finance, reported to council the average tax increase proposed by municipal governments across the region was “right where Delta is at 3.5 per cent” and added the taxes to be paid by property owners don’t include other fees to be collected by the corporation and forwarded to other jurisdictions.
“We’re still waiting to receive the rate for TransLink and the school taxes,” Preuss told council. “We have not received those rates as yet as they are set by the provincial government.”
In a report to council, Delta’s finance department breaks down the increase as an extra one per cent “to maintain city government services, 0.5 per cent for additional police members and civilians, 0.5 per cent for a life-cycle replacement reserve for Delta’s five synthetic turf fields and 1.5 per cent for funding an Emergency Services Fire Hall at Boundary Bay Airport.”
The finance department also looked the average increase in residential property assessments in the region over the past year, which ranged from a “low of 5.78 per cent assessment increase to a high of more than 18 per cent,” said Preuss. “The average was around 14 per cent and Delta came in at 12.54 per cent from last year to this year.”
Coun. Bruce McDonald noted the rising assessments don’t mean residential property owners will see a corresponding increase in taxes.
“You have to explain that all the boats rise at the same rate. We base the taxes on what it costs to run the municipality, not on the assessed value of the community.”
McDonald also noted Delta’s business-to-residential tax rate has dropped significantly over the years, to a ratio of roughly three-to-one.
“I think in Vancouver it’s something like five-point-something to one,” he said. “I know ours used to be higher, and I appreciate the fact we’ve been to trying to auger that down, because the people who run the businesses provide the jobs.”
The tax burden for properties classed as business will climb slightly by 0.2 per cent to 23.4 per cent, while residential tax burden declines by 0.3 per cent to 54.3 per cent.
“We’ve been fairly consistent from year to year with residential burden versus the business burden,” said Preuss. “We’ve been fairly consistent from year to year with all our classes.”