RDEK Approves 5-Year Financial Plan

The Regional District of East Kootenay has adopted its Financial Plan for the years 2013 – 2017.

The 2013  budget is $24.7  million, which represents an overall  increase  of  $600,000  from  last year. This includes a number of items that are specific to certain  service areas. When those items are set aside, the 2013  operating budget  for services shared by most municipalities and electoral areas in the region, represents a  3.2% decrease  from  2012.  “The Board and staff have worked diligently to maintain service levels and keep increases to a minimum. I am pleased with   the budget we’ve adopted,”  says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.

It is important to understand that there is a difference between the numbers in the budget and the effect those numbers will have on individual tax rates. Residents   of the RDEK  will be affected  differently, depending on the municipality or electoral area in which they live. On average, rural residential properties in the RDEK will see approximately a 1.3% overall increase in their tax levy.

“Unlike  a municipality that has one boundary and one set of taxpayers, different areas  of the RDEK require different services  and these are paid  for only  by the taxpayers of each  specific service  area,” explains  Gay. “In addition, even though there may be increas es in the requisition amount, new development in parts of the region will offset some of that impact on RDEK taxpayers.”

Tax calculations are expected to be complete by  early-April when 2013  revised assessed values are available.

Highlights in the 2013  budget  include a grant for the Cranbrook Homeless Shelter, along with funding for the final closure of the old Fernie Landfill, Agricultural Plan, Columbia Valley Community Directed Funds Committee and Elk Valley Community Directed Funds Committee.

The 5-Year Plan for 2013-2017 was formally adopted by the RDEK Board at its March Board meeting.

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