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Council approves 7.58 per cent tax increase

The taxman is coming for Prince George ratepayers.

On Wednesday, after 15 hours of deliberations, Prince George city council passed it’s yearly budget containing a 7.58 per cent property tax increase. That equates to about $175 more a year on an average city property.

The budget the city passed totalled a tax levy of $129.25 for 2023 – $128.23 million to maintain services at existing levels, and $1.02 million to hire an additional four RCMP officers and two civilian support staff. That is an increase of about $9 million from last with $1.37 million of that coming from taxes on new development.

The cost of adding four new police officers totalled $842,000 and adding two more municipal staff brings the total to about $1 million.

Coun. Ron Polillo put forward a motion to use some of the COVID-19 Safe Restart fund, which has $2.8 million in it, to cover the cost. However, that was rejected largely because the police will be an ongoing operating that will last longer than the fund will.

Council did approve, however, using Safe Restart money to fund a $100,000 feasibility study for a fire department training facility. Council also approved using the remainder of the Safe Restart grant to offset the potential $5.5 million retroactive pay package for the RCMP contract negotiated by the federal government.

Council also reduced the snow removal budget from $10 million to $9.8 million.

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