Kamloops residential tax rates increase - InfoNews

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Kamloops residential tax rates increase

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April 12, 2016 - 2:47 PM

KAMLOOPS - Kamloops taxpayers will be seeing a tax increase of more three per cent on tax bills this year after council shifted some of the tax burden from heavy industry to residential properties.

Council voted on final tax rates today, April 12, for property in Kamloops. They voted to reduce some of the burden on heavy industry, shifting $500,000 to residents and leaving residential tax rates to rise roughly 3.4 per cent.

The heavy industry mill rate was set at 74, down from 78.70 the year before, Financial Director Kathy Humphrey says. The residential mill rate was moved up to 5.48 from 5.43. The mlll rate is the tax rate based on $1,000 assesed property value.

Humphrey says this translates to an increase of $58 to the average Kamloops property owner, based on an average house price of $350,000, which is $18 more than earlier estimates when the increase was estimated at 2.35 per cent.

The decision was made after a debate surrounded shifting some of the tax burden from heavy industry to light industry or residential taxpayers. Heavy industry taxpayers Lafarge, Tolko and Domtar have regularly asked council to decrease their tax rate. Councillors were concerned about the tax rates for heavy and light industry tax classes, because they are already higher than averages in comparable cities in B.C..

Mayor Peter Milobar noted Kamloops tax rates for the two types of industry were notably higher than those in similar towns such as Vernon, Kelowna and Nanaimo, cities he thinks Kamloops is competing with for new businesses.

The budget will now get drafted as a bylaw before being ratified by council at a later meeting.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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