Cache Creek ready to start raising taxes

Rising utility rates and taxes in Cache Creek reflect the end of landfill revenues and flood restoration costs.

Cache Creek Council gave first readings to bylaws that will form their 2016/17 budget. Shaped by landfill revenues that are coming to a close and by unexpected flood restoration, the news isn’t going to be good.

Then again, it could be worse.

“This means about a $75 increase per household per year,” said Mayor John Ranta after Council finished preliminary approvals for amending the Five Year Financial Plan bylaws, and bylaws for utility rates at the Dec. 14 Council meeting.

Bylaw 780 included extra revenue from Emergency Management BC for flood restoration, and also extra expenditures for the same reason, less revenues from things that didn’t get done, but also less expenditures because… things didn’t get done. Many projects scheduled for this year have been deferred until next year or cancelled.

Administration presented Council with a balanced budget to review, with the help of money appropriated from the Village’s Landfill Legacy.

Over the five year period of this financial plan, water and sewer user fees will increase 2.5 per cent in 2015 and four per cent annually in 2016 to 2019. General taxes will increase four per cent in 2015 and 2.5 per cent annually 2016 to 2019.

“Loss of landfill revenue will result in a review of all Village rates and charges,” is the budget’s objective. “The landfill legacy reserve may be initially used to offset taxes but it will be the long term goal of council to provide services from tax and user fee revenue.”

Mayor John Ranta asked council to slow down the reconsideration process for the bylaws to give the public an opportunity to give input.

“We do have to balance the budget,” he said, “so we’ll probably move forward with them after the Town Hall meeting (Jan. 25).”

But, he said, if someone comes up with some suggestions that might work, Council would still have time to work them into the bylaws and pass them before the utility bills have to go out in the mail.

“I feel it’s important to creative an opportunity to receive input from taxpayers,” he said. Council agreed to delay reconsideration of the bylaws until after the Town Hall meeting scheduled for Jan. 25 at 7 pm in the community hall.