The City of Terrace is in the early stages of deliberations for its 2021 budget and it is encouraging the public to provide feedback. (City of Terrace infographic)

The City of Terrace is in the early stages of deliberations for its 2021 budget and it is encouraging the public to provide feedback. (City of Terrace infographic)

City of Terrace begins 2021 budget deliberations

Initial draft of budget includes 7 per cent tax increase

The City of Terrace is in the early stages of planning its 2021 budget, and it is encouraging the public to provide feedback.

Lori Greenlaw, director of finance, presented an initial draft budget for council discussion at a committee of the whole meeting on Dec. 1.

The draft budget calls for a 7 per cent increase to property taxes in 2021. Early this year, the city reduced a planned 7.4 per cent tax increase for 2020 down to 4.5 per cent in response to economic upheaval from the pandemic, but Greenlaw said at the time that would mean a larger tax increase for 2021.

The 2021 tax increase would cover additional city operating costs and services being added to the budget in 2021, such as an additional RCMP member and two new positions in the public works and engineering departments.

Council deliberated how to spend a $2.7 million COVID Safe Restart grant provided by the provincial government last month, as well as $13 million in its Northern Capital and Planning Grant reserve, monies which were provided in 2019 and this year.

The COVID Safe Restart grant is eligible to be used to cover revenue shortfalls, facility reopening and operating costs, emergency planning and protective services costs, computer and electronic technology costs, services for vulnerable people and other related costs.

The draft budget calls for the use of $775,750 of the COVID Safe Restart grant in 2021. That includes $300,000 to cover operating cost shortfalls, $90,000 for IT server hardware, $40,000 for new budget software, and $262,500 to cover closure of the landfill, plus a handful of small costs.

That leaves $1.9 million to be held in a reserve for use in the coming years.

Coun. Sean Bujtas said it makes sense to hold a portion of the money for future years because the financial impacts of the pandemic will continue even after a vaccine is successfully distributed. He gave the example of casino gaming tax revenue, which is typically a major revenue source for the city, saying casinos have been hit hard by pandemic closures and those revenue numbers likely won’t return to normal levels for some time.

Coun. Brian Downie said the city should draw on more of the COVID Safe Restart funds this year in order to reduce the proposed 7 per cent tax increase, but Greenlaw said that using a one-time grant to reduce a tax increase would mean that the tax increase would have to be implemented the following year if the city were to maintain all its services.

Coun. James Cordeiro said the city may have to look at cutting some services to reduce the tax burden. He said the city’s community partners, like the library and Heritage Park Museum, should look for further savings in their budgets, though he said those budgets are quite small in comparison to the city’s total budget.

More information about the budget, including a timeline of the city’s budget development process and a video recording of the initial budget council meeting from Dec. 1, can be found on the city’s website, where they have created a dedicated page for 2021 buget information. The page can be accessed at

The city is inviting the public to participate in a web-based survey about the budget. The survey can be accessed at General feedback can also be submitted by email to or by mail to 3215 Eby St., Terrace, BC V8G 2X8, Attention: Budget 2021. People submitting feedback should include their full name and address for the public record. The city is accepting feedback until the end of the day on Dec. 14.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This concept artwork from July 2020 shows the inland port planned for the former Skeena Cellulose mill site in Terrace. (Image courtesy Hatha Callis, Progressive Ventures Group)
Terrace city council approves inland port OCP amendments

Project still requires zoning bylaw, development permit to continue

This copper frog pendant was made by Jamika Aksidan, a young Nisga’a artist who was recently recognized with an award for her work. (Photo courtesy Nisga’a Museum)
Nisga’a youth artist wins award

Award includes $500, exhibition in Nisga’a Museum

A BC Hydro outage is affecting nearly 4000 customers in Kitimat. The cause of the outage is under investigation. (Screenshot/BC Hydro Outage Map)
Cable fault responsible for Kitimat power outage, BC Hydro says

At its peak, the BC Hydro power outage affected near 4,000 customers

Graph showing the 2020 passenger totals at the Northwest Regional Airport in Terrace. (Submitted/Northwest Regional Airport)
New year brings an end to a turbulent 2020 at Northwest Regional Airport

Passenger totals half of what they were in 2019

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

Most Read