The Village of Port Alice has decided to go with a five per cent tax increase for 2020.
The average home in Port Alice is valued at $152,000, which the owners paid $1,853.04 on last year. In the new tax cycle, they’ll be getting a bill for about $1,890.69.
When asked to comment, Port Alice Mayor Kevin Cameron noted his council is “trying to keep the taxes down as much as possible, especially with the hard times we’re facing today.”
Cameron added that the taxation loss from the dormant Neucel Specialty Cellulose pulp mill has definitely hurt the village, stating it was actually “very crippling” to the entire North Island economy.
Neucel went into curtailment back in 2015 and the company has recently declared bankruptcy, owing a total of $272 million to various creditors—including the largest portion of $235 million to Fulida Holdings. Of the remaining $37 million, Neucel owes $1.8 million to Port Alice—which could be closer to $2.2 million when this year’s taxes are billed—$21 million to Unifor Local 514, $13 million to the province, $50,377 in unpaid wages and $388,277 in unpaid BC Hydro bills.
Due to this, Cameron said the village has been “running things right to the bone, we’re down in staff, and we are running as tight a ship as we can.”