Delta residents will pay on average $108 more in property taxes and utility fees next year.
On Monday, Dec. 13, Delta council approved the city’s 2022 to 2026 financial plan and 2022 utility user rates, which included an average property tax rate increase of 2.99 per cent and a 2.94 per cent increase to residents’ flat rate utility bills.
Based on the average residential property value in Delta in 2021 — $939,000 — and assuming an increase next year in line with the average, homeowners will pay $2,561 in property taxes, or about $74 more than last year. The 2.99 per cent increase breaks down to 1.65 per cent to pay for city services and 1.34 per cent to enhance community infrastructure.
The 2022 plan includes a general operating budget of $197.2 million (a $9.7-million increase over 2021); a utilities operating budget of $47 million (a $2.5-million increase over 2021), new capital projects worth $58.7 million and capital projects carried forward worth an estimated $55 million for total capital program budget of $113.7 million ($2.1 million less than in 2021).
Emerging priorities included in the city’s 2022 financial plan include social action planning, accessibility enhancements, cycling improvements, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, place-making, Ladner Waterfront redevelopment, sport field upgrades, playground and sport court renewals, off-leash dog parks, boat launch replacements, facility renewal, and neighborhood livability and safety improvements.
According to a staff report to council, the 2022 capital program provides for increased investment in parks infrastructure, with funding directed towards drainage improvements at North Delta Community Park and enclosing existing off-leash areas at the North Delta Recreation Centre and Huff Hydro Park Reserve greenway, among other projects.
A list of significant 2022 capital projects includes construction of the North Delta Track Fieldhouse, as well as various climate action and green initiatives.
The $55 million of carried forward projects includes 72nd Avenue improvements, the North Delta works yard, a covered multi-sport court in Ladner and other smaller infrastructure projects.
Meanwhile, the city’s flat rate utility fees will increase by $34 in 2022, from $1,157 to $1,191 for a single family home.
The fees cover the purchase of services from Metro Vancouver (water and sewer), contractual costs for garbage and recycling programs, Delta’s portion of costs to improve water and sewer distribution systems, and operating costs to maintain those systems.
Water rates are set to increase by $23 next year ($612), while sewer costs are going up $11 ($384). Solid waste removal is staying at the 2021 rate ($195).
A staff report notes Metro Vancouver’s regional water and sewer costs are increasing 4.9 and 3.2 per cent, respectively, in 2022, accounting for $24 of the increase in Delta’s flat rate utility fees. The additional $10 increase covers the city’s costs, including the return of Delta’s popular Spring Clean-Up program.
The program, which allows residents to place up to a pickup truck-size load of extra garbage and scrap metal curbside for garbage collection once a year, was deferred in 2020 and 2021 due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its place, the city debuted its Large Item Pick-Up program in March 2021. The program allows residents to schedule pick up for up to four large, bulky items per year, including mattresses, box springs, fridges and freezers. Due to its popularity, Large Item Pick-Up will continue in 2022.
The report says the program has been well received by residents, with a projected 15 per cent of eligible property owners availing themselves of the service by years end and disposing of roughly 9,000 items. Mattresses and box springs, which are not eligible for pick up during Spring Clean-Up, have accounted for nearly a quarter of all materials being processed.