With a unanimous vote, Nakusp’s village council passed its $6.1 million annual budget on Monday.
The budget calls for a modest 1.6 per cent tax hike to cover the increasing costs of doing business as a municipal government.
For the average homeowner, that works out to about an extra $14.42 annually, or a $1.20/month. The average home in Nakusp is assessed at $198,000, meaning village taxes work out to about $900.
There were few changes in the document passed Monday from the preliminary budgets presented earlier in the year.
Operating expenses work out to $4.448 million dollars, while capital projects make up $1.737 million of the budget.
The biggest impact on residents’ tax bills is the operation of the municipally-owned hot springs – and that was in a good way. This year council is taking $15,000 from the facility’s revenues to offset property taxes. That $15,000 is about the amount the hot springs would pay in property taxes if it was privately owned.
By doing that, council was able to cut what would have been a three per cent increase in taxes roughly in half.
The biggest capital project on the books this year is the revitalization of Broadway Ave. The $1 million project, which will see the renovation of the street’s crumbling sidewalks and numerous cosmetic improvements, is being paid for by grants, the federal gas-tax fund, and village reserves.
The budget contained a smattering of other items, including renovating the waterfront’s Spicer Gardens, buying a new tractor-lawnmower and new sander, and making much-needed improvements to the Rotary Playground. The village office will also replace its outdated phone system this year.
With the public works director position still vacant, staff said they were holding off launching any of the large-scale water and sewer replacement projects that have been identified by consultants. The only larger works being planned are holdovers from last year, including extending the village water system to nine properties north of the Kuskanax River. That project will be paid by those properties from parcel taxes, and doesn’t affect the general tax rate.
Note however, the village’s property tax bill is less than half of the final bill homeowners will receive in the mail in a few weeks. On top of the village taxes, there’s also the RDCK’s taxes, hospital and police bills, and other charges from provincial bodies. In all, the village bill makes up about 45 per cent of your municipal tax total.
The budget incited little public interest, with only one taxpaying couple showing up to listen and ask questions.