Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) is increasing municipal taxes 4.5 per cent to focus on completing capital projects in the community.
On April 28, SPMRM held a public financial plan presentation. Shane Bourke, chief administrative officer, presented a proposed budget plan for the next five years, which was approved by council on May 3.
In December 2021, council approved a preliminary budget with a three per cent municipal tax increase for 2022. But due to inflation, a new daycare project and funding for a community plaza, SPMRM administration proposed a 4.5 per cent tax increase.
Bourke said the increase is also justified because SPMRM did not raise taxes in 2020 as a COVID-19 response, with the intention to make up for it in future years.
For properties, the average assessment value increased 27.15 per cent in Sun Peaks last year. Bourke said this increase doesn’t necessarily mean higher municipal property taxes, depending on how each property’s assessment aligns with the average change.
However, increased assessments are likely to raise taxes, to pay for services like education, health care and the regional district. Since Sun Peaks has a higher assessment value than neighbouring communities, property owners have to contribute more to regional services.
Overall, Bourke said the municipality’s 2022 objectives are to focus on completing these capital projects and to only have minimal operational growth. Therefore, there were only modest increases to the operating budget.
A recording of the presentation is available on SPMRM’s website and Facebook page.