Expenditures (operating and capital) for the Regional District in 2020 will total $60.7 million. Of the $60.7 million, $19.8 million will be funded through property taxation, which is an increase of $513,030 or 2.66 per cent over 2019. Most of the other funding for the budget for 2020 is coming in the form of grants, user fees and use of reserve funds, according to a release issued by the district.
Significant 2020 budgeted expenditures provided by the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George include Solid Waste Management ($25.3 million); 9-1-1 Emergency Response Services ($9.9 million); Protective Services ($8.4 million) and Recreation & Cultural Services ($3.6 million).
Regional District Chairman Art Kaehn says the 2020 budget reflects an investment in capital projects in a number of key areas including solid waste management and the 9-1-1 emergency service.
“We are excited to move forward on some big projects that will improve quality of life for residents in our region without a significant impact on taxation,” said Kaehn.
Kaehn notes that an increase or decrease in the overall requisition does not always translate to what residents will see reflected on their tax bill. The budget can affect communities in the region differently depending on a number of variables such as services provided to that area, fluctuations in property assessments and a change in the amount of residential or commercial properties that share in the funding of a particular service.
Regional district taxes per $100,000 of residential assessment decreased in all municipalities and electoral areas for 2020. In Prince George, the taxes decreased 3.8 per cent to $51.20 per $100,000 residential assessment. In Mackenzie, taxes are down 3.9 per cent to $59.19 per $100,000 residential assessment. Valemount will see a 6.1 per cent decrease at $266.26 per $100,000 residential assessment. McBride will see decrease of four per cent at $398.97.
However, those decreases may not result in a decrease on the tax bill for many homeowners in the region.
The average increase region-wide in property assessment was 6.87 per cent, meaning that the overall amount homeowners are taxed on may have increased.
The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George provides 92 services to residents of its seven electoral areas and to the City of Prince George, District of Mackenzie, Village of Valemount and Village of McBride.