Lake Country council will get a look at the district’s 2023-2027 draft financial plan on Jan. 26.
Staff is proposing two options for a property tax increase for 2023 – Option A at 14 per cent or Option B at 9.95 per cent.
Growth and rising costs are the main reasons cited for the increase, with the biggest impact coming from policing costs.
Due to Lake Country surpassing 15,000 in population, the district is now responsible for 90 per cent of the funding ($1,411,626) for RCMP services.
The amount would be reduced to $703,053 using policing reserve funds if council were to choose Option B.
A staff report notes that inflation rates, supply chain issues, and overall rising costs have had a significant impact on operations at the district, and have also influenced long-term capital plans.
A budget town hall is scheduled for Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.
Property owners can review the draft budget and ask questions in advance at Let’s Talk Lake Country.
Staff will also ask council for a decision on water rate increases at its Jan. 26 meeting, and has proposed four scenarios:
- Scenario 1 – a rate increase of about 23 per cent in 2023 help to generate funds required for major projects starting in 2024, with an approximate 13 per cent increase in 2025;
- Scenario 2 – an estimated 29% in 2023 to cover recent inflation and help to generate funds required for major projects starting in 2024, with a rate hike of about 15 per cent in 2025 (factoring inflation);
- Scenario 3a – five equal 10 per cent rate increases spread over five years, including assumed inflation. The rates need to continue upwards towards 2027 because the rates need to make up for the lower rates in 2023 and the gradual phase-in;
- Scenario 3b – rate increases are spread over five years and include inflation.
The Water Service Advisory Committee is recommending council consider increasing the rates over a five-year period.
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