Skip to content

Council approves preliminary budget plan, seeks public feedback

Tax levy increase set at 2.75 per cent and impact for property owners will vary depending on assessed value

Just because average assessed values for single family homes rose by 21 per cent doesn’t mean property taxes are rising by 21 per cent, according to the City of Cranbrook.

City council approved a 2.75 per cent tax levy increase during the 2022 budget discussions, which breaks down to a 1.75 per cent general increase and a 1 per cent dedicated road tax.

According to BC Assessment, a typical single family home in Cranbrook rose from an average value of $327,000 in 2021 to $397,000 in 2022. Based on this year’s average values, a 2.75 per cent tax levy increase results in a $63 increase for a $397,000 single family home, according to the city’s finance department.

“Under the proposed 2022 budget the total municipal tax levy increase is 2.75 per cent,” confirmed Charlotte Osborne, Director of Finance for the City of Cranbrook. “Those whose assessment increased more than the average will see their taxes go up more than 2.75 per cent. Conversely, if a residential property owner’s assessment was below the average 21% increase in Cranbrook, the property owner would see less than 2.75 per cent of an increase in their annual property taxes.”

The City’s 2.75 per cent tax levy increase relates only to the municipal portion of a property owner’s tax bill. Increases may be attributable to other factors such as varying tax rates for School District 5, Regional District of East Kootenay, Kootenay East Regional Hospital District and B.C. Assessment.

Cranbrook’s 2.75 per cent tax levy increase is on the lower spectrum of other municipalities, according to the city. In comparison, Creston is proposing a 3.65 per cent increase, Kimberley is looking at a 4.70 per cent increase and Vernon is staring at a 6.88 per cent increase.

The 2022 budget process began in June last year, which included discussions in November to set operational and capital funding priorities, among others.

The city is projecting 2022 revenues of $118 million, from sources that include $30 million in property taxes, $25 million in transfers from reserves and $21 million in transfers or collections from other governments.

Operating expenses are projected at $81.8 million and capital expenses are estimated at $37.1 million.

Approximately $18 million is budgeted in 2022 for some large projects that are on the horizon, including the beginning of a major reconstruction of Victoria Ave and 4th St. N. Details for the 2022 road improvement program will be released later in the spring.

In 2021, major capital projects completed include the reconstruction of both Innes Ave and 2A Ave. S, as well as paving on Victoria Ave, Theatre Rd. and other areas. Projects carried forward from 2021 into 2022 include the purchase of a fire ladder truck, Gold Creek Dam design, a downtown revitalization master plan, Lagoon Dike and Piping upgrades, among others.

A copy of the city’s proposed five-year financial plan can be viewed here or paper copies can be picked up at City Hall. The city is inviting public feedback until Friday, Jan. 29 for consideration at a Feb. 7 city council meeting.

Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
Read more