Village. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

Property owners to see a 1 per cent hike in tax

The village of Burns Lake has decided on a small hike in property tax for this year.

During a special budget meeting held on April 20, the village council voted to increase the property tax by 1 per cent for inflation.

“There were many considerations involved in selecting the option, and inflation is one factor. Inflation needs to be considered to maintain the required taxation revenue to avoid a steep increase in taxes in future years. Council capped the 2021 increase at 1 per cent,” said Sheryl Worthing, the village chief administrative officer.

Last year, the village opted in favour of a zero per cent property tax increase in addition to delaying the penalty date. This came just a year after the village passed a tax bylaw in 2019 to implement a planned 2 per cent property tax increase. This was done to offset the burdens on property owners due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year however, the council decided to take in account inflation but without the entire 2 per cent increase.

”To be fiscally responsible while minimizing the impact on taxpayers, Council chose a small increase of 1 per cent,” said Worthing.

According to Worthing, a higher tax rate increase would have been burdensome for the taxpayer due to the significant increase in the assessed value of properties in the community.

The assessment values of village properties increased on average by 11.2 per cent, which is much higher when compared to the average 5 per cent increase per year in each of the last three years. Also the non-market changes this year are higher at 2.87 per cent compared to 0.62 per cent last year.

The village council in a previous budget meeting set the dates for levying penalties on unpaid property taxes for 2021 with a delay in line with 2020. In a regular year, property taxes are due July 2, and a 10 per cent penalty is applied on the current year’s unpaid balance. This year however, just like in 2020, instead of the provincial deadline of July, the date set would be 5 per cent on current year taxes unpaid by Oct. 2 and an additional 5 per cent on current year taxes unpaid by Dec. 31.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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