The old Lake Country firehall will not be sold, but retained for future needs. (District of Lake Country photo)

The old Lake Country firehall will not be sold, but retained for future needs. (District of Lake Country photo)

Lake Country considers 6.62% tax hike

Initial increase jacked following budget meeting, public input still sought

Careful consideration of priorities expressed by citizens have led to a potential 6.62 per cent tax increase in Lake Country.

Following council’s budget meeting Jan. 4, the municipal tax hike was proposed.

“However, council is asking community to provide comments on the proposed increase,” the district said.

Residents can have their say online at Let’s Talk – Lake Country and at the Feb. 8 virtual town hall at 7 p.m.

The district was initially looking at a 4.85 per cent increase, with a focus on road improvements on top of expenditures required to maintain current standards including year-round sidewalk and road maintenance and current levels of protective services.

READ MORE: Road maintenance drives Lake Country tax hike

“The additional 1.77 per cent proposed increase includes engineering and environmental consulting services, line painting, road signage, fleet maintenance, arts and culture, a deputy fire chief as well as various part-time positions,” the district said.

With BC Assessments now out, some property owners might be concerned that escalating property values mean their taxes will grow at the same rate.

“This is a common misconception, and the most important factor is not how much your assessed value has changed, but how your assessed value has changed relative to the average change for your property class within the District.”

The average Lake Country single family home is now valued at $993,000 representing a 30.57 per cent increase from 2021.

Properties whose value change was lower than the average change will likely see a decrease in property taxes. Those with properties similar to the average change of 30.57 per cent will likely see no change. Only properties with changes higher than average will likely see an increase.

Some residents asked why the former firehall is not being sold to offset expenses, and potentially reduce the tax hike.

“Council made the decision in 2021 to not pursue selling the former firehall for a variety of reasons,” the district said. “As the District continues to grow and expand, so will the need for additional property and space to accommodate functions essential for municipal operations to support the growing community.”

With escalating property costs, council agreed that securing options for the future is essential.

Council has directed that securing options for the future is essential, due to escalating cost of property within the community.

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