Lake Country, BC - After Council’s deliberation February 20th, the approval of Lake Country’s 2018 Operating and Capital Budget – along with a five year financial plan – will result in a 3.5 percent tax increase, which equates to approximately $76.00 to an average single-family home (valued at $656,000 for 2018). There are no increases in water, sewer or garbage/recycling fees for 2018.

The increase is made up of 1.5 percent ($33) for the Transportation for Tomorrow roads infrastructure program (which will add $151,874 to the Transportation for Tomorrow reserve) and 2.0 percent ($43) general tax increase (which will add $247,429 in general taxes for 2018).  Based on BC Assessment roll figures and adjustments for renewal of farm status on some properties, the tax base is estimated to have increased by 4.6 percent. 

Compared to the prior year, less revenue is coming from property taxes (23.68% compared to 25.9% in 2017).  This is due to the large amount of carryforward capital projects and the associated grant funding revenue expected from those projects. The District’s total operating budget for 2018 is $19.3 million with $12.2 million raised through property taxes, $2.1 million from parcel taxes and $5 million from fees and charges.  The total capital spending forecast is $22.8 million ($14 million in new capital projects and $8.8 in carry forward projects) with offsetting funding from reserves, developer contributions and potential grant funding.  The capital projects are the big ticket items or assets that are typically long-term in nature such as land, buildings, roads, pipes and large equipment.  Some capital projects budgeted for in 2017 were not even started due to the length of emergency events (e.g. flooding) and the need for recovery projects; and therefore a number of carryforward requests were included in the 2018 Budget.

The top capital projects approved for 2018 are:

  • Glenmore Road Improvements ($750,000 carryforward funded from Road Reserve and DCC)
  • Fire Vehicle ($245,879 carryforward from 2017 funded from Fire Reserve)
  • Eldorado Treated Water Reservoir ($4,136,963 2017 carryforward from Grant funding and Water DCC)
  • Reimche Road Bridge Replacement ($414,366 carryforward from 2017 funded from Capital Works Reserve)
  • Swalwell Skate Park ($125,378 carryforward funded from Capital Works Reserve and Parks DCCs)
  • Rail Trail construction ($1.1 million carryforward from 2017 funded from contributions)

On November 28, 2017 Council did a detailed review of the operational, capital and supplemental financial plans with the support of staff.  The meeting was broadcast live via the District’s Facebook channel with up to 703 unique viewers watching portions of the broadcast. Council also provided direction for the Chief Financial Officer to get feedback from the public through informal meetings at the Winfield Arena on December 14th and at Municipal Hall January 23, 2018.  Additionally, an online engagement tool was launched in early December called ‘Citizen Budget’ to gather public input into the budget process and priorities for spending in the community.

Through the annual budget process, Council makes decisions on how to best fund the operation of facilities and services with the goal of being fiscally responsible, while meeting the highest priority objectives with the most benefit for the community to ensure Lake Country continues to thrive.  

 

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For more information contact:

Tanya Garost, Chief Financial Officer, District of Lake Country

Tel 250-766-5650 or tgarost@lakecountry.bc.ca

 

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