Trail city council has unanimously given its blessing to a municipal tax increase of 4.47 per cent.
For the average home assessed at $388,000, it will mean paying another $46. Overall it will raise about another $750,000 for city coffers.
City manager Colin McClure said the increase is mainly driven by ongoing inflation and supply chain issues, but noted collective agreements for unionized staff are are also in their final years.
While council is often presented with a preliminary increase that may be adjusted up or down before it is adopted, McClure said due to staffing shortages that didn’t happen this year and he simply presented the amount required to keep things running at present levels.
“City council implored staff that they were concerned about the overall increases to the community, whether that’s families going to the grocery store or trying to fill up their car, and to make sure we kept the increase as low as we can while providing the same level of service as in previous years.”
Last year the tax increase was 4.5 per cent and the year before that 3.9 per cent.
One other financial decision the city will have to make is how to address garbage fees. The RDKB recently announced it will assume management for waste contracts in Greater Trail once curbside composting begins in October. However, all garbage will now have to be tagged at $3 per bag. Right now in Trail the first two bags are covered through taxes, which residents have already paid for the entire year.
“We have definitely been in discussion with staff and the RDKB on what the best step forward is,” McClure said. “If we refund, how are we going to do that? Whatever that gap or balance would be, you’ve got three quarters of the service being provided, but someone’s paid 100 per cent.”
He said they have discussed different options, including providing a credit on the 2024 garbage fee.