The City of Terrace says it’s unlikely it will be able to significantly reduce a proposed 7.4 per cent property tax hike for the year but will be reviewing its 2020 budget and looking for ways to adjust it without hindering its ability to provide critical services. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

City says unlikely there will be a significant property tax reduction from proposed increase

One resident has asked the Town to consider reducing the proposed 7.4 per cent tax increase

The City says it’s unlikely they’ll be able to significantly reduce a proposed 7.4 per cent property tax increase following a request from a resident for a reduction or cancellation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Christina Losier told The Terrace Standard she sent an email to the City asking about the possibility of reducing or cancelling the proposed increase because she felt the current economic climate warranted it.

“I’m really concerned that property owners will get hit hard,” she said, adding that the business insurance on a rental she owns has already increased around $800 a year due to a recent spike in property value assessments for the region. “It’s just too much to handle.”

READ MORE: City of Terrace gets first look at 2020 budget

When The Terrace Standard reached out to Mayor Carol Leclerc for comment she said the City is reviewing its 2020 budget and looking for ways to adjust it without hindering its ability to provide critical services.

However she added it’s unlikely the increase would be cancelled altogether, noting the financial implications of closing a number of City facilities.

“The City is facing losses in revenue, particularly due to the closure of the Aquatic Centre and Sportsplex facilities, and we are not anticipating the ability to significantly reduce the proposed tax increase.”

Leclerc said that any adjustments to the proposed increase — which isn’t set to be passed until May 15 — would have to be done at a future council meeting, which could be held either online via webcast or in person.

The proposed increase would cover approximately $770,000 in additional staffing costs, including $89,829 for a new parks supervisor position, $121,884 to hire an additional full-time bylaw officer and two additional firefighters at a total cost $280,904.

That total figure represents approximately three quarters of the proposed increase, with the rest being budgeted toward increased operational costs.

According to the report by the City the increase amounts to approximately $120 a year for the average taxpayer.
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