White Rock property taxes are set to rise in 2022, along with utility rates. (Unsplash.com photo)

White Rock property taxes are set to rise in 2022, along with utility rates. (Unsplash.com photo)

Hike in White Rock property taxes anticipated

Utility fees also set to rise in budget, which still awaits final council approval

White Rock taxpayers are in for an overall 5.24 per cent increase in property taxes – plus a 2.5 per cent hike in utility fees – over last year’s figures.

Staff have been directed to prepare the official bylaw establishing the 2022 budget, following an endorsement of the draft budget by council’s Finance and Audit Committee on April 12.

Council has not yet given final approval of the budget, which corporate administration director Tracey Arthur said is likely to come at a council meeting within the first two weeks of May.

“It must be approved by May 13,” she said, adding that it is likely that council will schedule one more meeting to discuss the budget, once it has been formally drafted by staff before a final vote.

The proposed property tax increase represents increases in budgets for municipal operations (1.14 per cent); police service (2.61 per cent) and asset improvement of 1.49 per cent.

This year’s tax increase is up from an overall increase for 2021, which was 4.28 per cent.

READ ALSO: White Rock committee pushes forward proposed financial plan with 4.28% tax increase

According to city estimates, the budget will tack an extra $200 on the tax bill for an average household, and some $70 on the taxes for an average strata unit.

The utility rate increase includes increases to the charges for drainage, solid waste and water.

These translate to a total estimated utility rate increase of $46 for an average household, and $21 for an average strata unit.

During discussion on April 12, Coun. Christopher Trevelyan asked why the cancellation of this year’s Tour de White Rock cycling event had not had the effect of reducing the tax bill.

Deputy corporate officer Debbie Johnstone and chief administrative officer Guillermo Ferrero said that, unless the event was cancelled permanently, the budget for it would be transferred to reserves to offset other revenue shortfalls for the year.

Trevelyan also questioned an increase to council members’ remuneration.

“I’m just a little bit concerned that we’re getting a significant pay increase, when we also have a high property tax increase, in my opinion,” he said.

But Johnstone said the council remuneration increase – some 2.7 per cent – is tied, by previously established policy, to the rate of inflation, as tracked by Vancouver’s Consumer Price Index.


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