April 25, 2014 - 4:10 PM
KAMLOOPS - Next week council will get the opportunity to approve the next step necessary to increase city boundaries to include the New Afton Mine.
The idea was first broached last April as city council grappled with a request to lower heavy industry taxes. New Gold mine and its employees already receive benefits and services because of the proximity to the city, like fire and medical services, yet the city does not benefit from that same proximity.
“Frankly we are the only level of government not benefiting from it,” Milobar said when he first brought up the subject last year, “we would be incredibly optimistic to think it could be ready for 2014 tax year, likely 2015.”
In the past year the city worked with various stakeholders who could possibly be affected by the extension. Now staff is ready to move forward with a formal application.
After council approves the application, the city will look to the province for annexation approval. A decision on how to set the tax rate limits for New Gold still needs to be made, though one option is to phase it in so the impact is not as great.
By expanding city boundaries to include New Gold it adds an extra company to the heavy industry class, currently comprised of only four companies, and would spread the tax burden across another company, bringing the amount each company has to pay down.
The process, which includes the development of a proposal and referrals, submission and review of the proposal and electoral approval, could take six months to two years.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014