Cache Creek residents face a 2.5 per cent increase to property taxes in the 2012 municipal budget but few are complaining — that may be because they enjoy one of the lowest tax rates in the province.
Village of Cache Creek councillors unanimously adopted the 2012 provisional budget on Tuesday evening after a public hearing that drew no more than three residents.
The municipal government heard little feedback over the tax hike, possibly due to its modest $1.99 per $1,000 in property value. With the average house going for around $138,000, that’s an annual property tax bill of less than $275.
However the picture isn’t exactly rosy for the Village.
The 2012 budget’s $4.5 million in projected revenue is nearly half of last year’s, due in part to the loss of Metro Vancouver garbage.
“Metro Vancouver continues to reduce the amount of waste disposed in the Village of Cache Creek,” said Cache Creek mayor John Ranta on Wednesday.
“It used to be about 450,000 tonnes annually. Last year it was 270,000. And this year it’ll be 210,000 tonnes, they tell us. When you’ve got a choice of putting waste in an environmentally sound landfill like Cache Creek, it doesn’t make much sense.”
The revenue side of the budget is also significantly reduced because the municipality doesn’t require the reserve transfers seen in 2011 for the construction of a $2.2 million water treatment facility.
“Hopefully we won’t have to do that again until after I’m dead,” laughed Ranta.
The actual loss in landfill royalties is $120,000 and it’s expected to keep going down despite a landfill expansion proposal nearly underway, said Ranta.
Thankfully, he said, the Village has $3 million in a landfill legacy fund that may cushion the blow in years to come.
And with the increased downward pressure on revenue coming from the Village’s reliance on landfill royalties, Cache Creek council decided to take steps towards diversification this week.
“Council just yesterday voted to hire an economic development firm to develop a business attraction and retention strategy for the Village of Cache Creek,” said Ranta. “Any business that can create a job we would be happy to embrace.”