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.