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City budget starts with 11.27% tax increase

Campbell River’s 2023 budget is starting out with a double digit increase of 11.27 per cent.

That’s around an extra $30 this year on every $100,000 of assessed value on a residential home.

As it stands now, it’s the largest increase since 2018 and shadows last year’s increase of 3.13 per cent.

The cost of city operations is forecast to make up nearly 8 per cent of the tax increase, driven by an increase in the RCMP contract. It will cost Campbell River an extra $1.1 million this year for the federal police force.

Mayor Kermit Dahl cites inflation, the supply chain, labour market shortages and fixed increases on city contracts for the budget increase.

The city also notes this is outside the parameters and guidelines for tax increases it set last year “due to today’s volatile economic climate,” it said in a news release.

The city has just under $9 million of outstanding long-term debt and plans to make about $1.2 million in principal and interest payments this year. “Current debt levels for the city are low when compared to many other municipalities of Campbell River’s size,” the budget document states. The city’s capacity to take on debt is $95 million between its general fund and utilities.

Councillors will try to pare down the budget when they meet from Tuesday to Friday next week from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day.

Nearly three-quarters of municipal taxes in Campbell River are collected from homeowners.

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