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 - www.cranbrook.ca go to Alternative Approval Process and click on the blue link to elector response forms. DUE Oct. 31.