Ashcroft looking at 37% tax increase

The Village of Ashcroft is looking at different tax hikes for the coming year.

Ashcroft residents will be facing an increase in their taxes this year, but Council hasn’t decided how much.

On March 28 they presented figures representing two, five, 10 and 37 per cent increases, with opinion favouring the 37 per cent increase.

Aging infrastructure is at the centre of the proposal. In 2009, the provincial government legislated that all municipalities would record the depreciation on their capital assets.

Now they have to raise the taxes necessary to maintain and improve those assets, which include roads and utility structures like pipeline.

Ashcroft administrator Michelle Allen says it’s a substantial tax increase, but “if we don’t (raise that money), it will take us longer to do capital projects like paving roads.”

The Village needs to raise an additional $286,658. A 37.16 per cent increase would do that.

A two per cent increase would raise $15,426; five per cent would mean $38,566; and a 10 per cent increase would total $77,133.

Council hasn’t made a decision yet and are still discussing it. The municipal budget has to be finalized by mid-May.

The 37 per cent increase will mean homeowners with a residence assessed at $188,650 will be paying an additional $265 this year.

Businesses with an assessed value of $137,300 will be paying an additional $796; while businesses with an assessed value of $232,000 will be paying an extra $1,345.

These figures reflect the General Taxation Rates only and do not include the School, TNRD and other levies.

Allen says the homeowner grant is increasing this year by $200 and it should cover most of the increase faced by home owners. “If ever there was a time to increase taxes, now is the time to do it,” she said.

Council needs to table its budget soon in order to meet the mid-May deadline. Allen says she expects it to come up at next meeting on Monday, Apr. 11 at 4:30 pm in the Village Office.