Port McNeill deficit questioned

Residential tax rates are set to tick slightly upward this year in Port McNeill.

PORT McNEILL—Residential tax rates are set to tick slightly upward this year, but the Town’s taxpayers seem to be taking the news well.

Council hosted a statutory public consultation meeting Monday on its draft 2014 budget bylaw, originally released last month, and sat before an otherwise empty chambers.

“I have not received any written responses, nor has anyone seen fit to phone me,” treasurer Dan Rodin informed Mayor Gerry Furney and council. “So, I haven’t heard any comments at all.”

Asked by Furney whether that suggested the public supported the proposed budget, Rodin admitted, “That would probably be a reasonable assumption to make.”

In last month’s rollout of the 2014 budget, part of the Town’s proposed five-year budget bylaw, Rodin described it as a “status quo” budget, largely holding the line on spending.

In response to a question from Coun. Gaby Wickstrom, Rodin said the proposed residential tax increase came in response to a 1.47 per cent decrease in the assessed value of properties in the Town, in order to maintain a consistent level of municipal funding.

As a result, the average homeowner should see little change in tax burden in real dollars in the coming year.

And the Town’s financial situation may actually benefit from the addition of two new taxpaying properties — one recreational, the other a business — that he had no information on from BC Assessment at the time he was compiling the budget.

“We’re actually going to get more tax revenue this year than in the budget,” he said. “On the other hand, we may have expenses that I may be unaware of. I’ve got a feeling that, by the end of the year we’ll probably have spent a little more than what we actually planned to, but we’re also going to get a little more revenue to, so hopefully by the end of the year it will be a wash.

“But we’ll be monitoring it every month, too.”

On the other hand, Rodin was unable to answer a follow-up question from Wickstrom regarding a $365,000 deficit carried over from 2013. Noting a $440,000 debt in 2013 carried over from capital projects on a new water main and harbour improvements, Wickstrom said she was led to believe by the Town’s previous chief financial officer, Albert Sweet, that the 2013 budget was structured in a way to pay down that debt.

“Did we only pay off $75,000 (from the previous deficit), or do we have any major expenses that we didn’t know about,” Wickstrom asked.

“I wasn’t here for that conversation,” Rodin opened. He directed council’s attention to the deficit on last year’s financial statement. “By allocating $400,000 to deficit reduction, which is what was done, then conceptually, if everything else got spent, you would still be in the hole by about $305,000,” he pointed out.

Rodin added he was scheduled to meet with the provincial auditor May 5, and expected to have more detailed information for council on the 2012 and 2013 budgets, resulting from that visit, by mid-May.

Coincidentally, council will meet on May 5 to give second and third readings to the budget bylaw. Adoption of the bylaw would come in a subsequent meeting.

 

Just Posted

World Class Hiking Trail For The North Island?

The idea is getting some serious attention.

Provincial grants help communities map, meet housing needs

The next intake for funding is open until Nov. 29, 2019.

North Island Rising: Can the future of the North Island be managed?

Can growth be managed and if so, is now the time to start figuring things out?

Less than a month to go until the Mount Waddington Fall Fair!

The committee is hoping for a record number of exhibits this year

Port McNeill CCCU presents cheque to Port McNeill Hospital Society executive

The cheque was from the June 21 fundraiser BBQ that Ward and her Grandmother Lou organized together

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read