Two New Bylaws Approved Including Tax Money

Robert Thomas

Two new bylaws were given a third reading at council on Monday, May the 14th.
One concerns how much your taxes are going up and the other is to establish an investment committee, which could potentially help mould change to the City's investment policy.

Bylaw 5558 will establish an Investment Committee.

The Investment Committee will be made up of six members, include the City's Finance Director, City Manager, City Clerk Solicitor as well as three members of Council.

The committee is set to review and potentially change the City’s investment structure which is presently investing in blue chip bonds.

Any changes to the City’s Investment strategy must be approved by Council.

Previously, the proposed committee was opposed by Councillor Brian Swanson who, felt the Committee would lead to risky investments with the taxpayers being stung by it. He also opposed the Committee as the hiring of a money manager was likely a result costing the City funds.

Councillor Dawn Luhning opposed it due to the cost of hiring a money manager.

SEE RELATED: Establishing an Investment Committee Will Have to Wait.

Councillor Swanson opposed the Committee’s formation in the Third Reading.

How much you will pay in taxes for 2018 was also decided as Bylaw 5559, the Property Tax Bylaw 2018 was also passed.

The bylaw will see a new tax sharing approach with moves towards “Tax Fairness”. Tax Fairness is a term used by business lobby group the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). It entails businesses paying the same amount of property taxation for properties as similarly assessed residential properties.

By moving the mill rate in the tax sharing approach residential taxes will be going up 7.56 percent instead of 6.41 percent while commercial properties will see a four percent increase.

The issue was debated in a previous Executive Committee meeting.

SEE RELATED –  A Taxing Affair

Councillor Swanson opposed the initial bylaw and likewise voted against a third reading.

In order for any bylaw to be introduced and passed in one council meeting, the bylaw must have unanimous consent. With Councillors Luhning and Swanson voting against the bylaws, when initially introduced,  had to wait until the next council meeting for approval.