Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Math

Do we need a $10 million, 20 year tax burden?
The City of Cranbrook proposes to borrow $10M for road and infrastructure improvements. There is no question that improvements are needed but is this the best time? What are the implications for your taxes? Are there alternatives? You have only until October 31st to register your concern by signing a petition. The election promise was to fix our roads and not raise our taxes - an objective that can be met in 5 years without a loan that overburdens taxpayers unnecessarily. 
What you’ll be paying:
          A total of 5.36% tax increase for 2016.  The projected 2017 tax increase could be a 6.78% tax increase.  A 20 year tax burden on seniors and young families.
          The proposed $10 million loan would be paid for by taxpayers over 20 years.  That is an automatic 2.1% increase per year.  $31 per $100,000 residential assessed value.  Tax increase for business owners will be $56 per $100,000.
          Plus regular annual tax increases.  The general property tax increase for 2016 is 2.26% or $16.84 per $100,000 of assessed value. The projected tax increases for 2017 = 3.68%, 2018 = 4.01%, 2019 = 3.72%, 2020 = 2.42%. 
          Plus the additional yearly 1% Road Improvement Tax equates to about $7.45 per $100,000 of assessed value for residential property in 2016.
What’s the rush?  Let’s keep our tax dollars here.
          It is estimated that the 1% Road Improvement Tax will fund just under $10 million of the $32.7 million in capital road projects planned for 2016 through 2020.  So we don’t need a loan.
          The City already allocates $4.1 million/year towards roads and infrastructure The $10 million load would fix the same amount of roads in two years instead of five years.  Five years isn’t unreasonable.  Let’s take our time.
          Stretching the work over five years would allow the City to be able to contract with local businesses rather than those from out of town.
         A recent announcement through the Union of BC Municipalities indicates that money for roads would be available to municipalities over the next two years.  (
What can you do?

You can fill in a petition form at the City of Cranbrook offices, 40 - 10 Avenue S.  Or you can print off a form online from the City’s website - go to Alternative Approval Process and click on the blue link to elector response forms. DUE Oct. 31.


  1. Lee Pratt will leave a 20 year legacy of debt and high taxes for all residents and business owners. Other Councils to follow will be ham strung by this unnecessary loan.

  2. Accuracy is important to us. Mayor Pratt has stated that misinformation is being spread about this topic. If this information is not accurate we respectfully request how it might be corrected?
    Our duty as a ratepayers association is to inform, not to dictate how a person should act. We look forward to a response.


  4. We don't usually accept anonymous comments - However Anonymous referred us to Mayor Pratt's comments in eKnow. Maybe, rather than referring to those comments Anonymous might refer to the City's own website for the same numbers quoted in the article above:
    The impact this borrowing would have on the regular taxpayer is expected to be as follows:
    The estimated effect of the borrowing for the 2017 capital Road program to the residential taxpayer with an assessed value of
    $100,000 is an annual increase of $31.