Thompson Nicola Regional District’s (TNRD) board of directors approved the 2023 budget along with its five-year plan at the end of March. Despite overall revenue going up, homeowners in Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) can expect to see a slight tax decrease this year.
SPMRM residential taxes through the TNRD will decrease by $2.46 — a less than one per cent reduction. TNRD tax revenue will increase by 7.05 per cent compared to 2022 for an overall increase of $25.1 million.
In a press release, the TNRD noted that while taxes are increasing for some district residents, it won’t affect all residential owners because growth in the community has increased the tax base. Of the municipalities that make up the district, only the City of Kamloops and the Village of Lytton saw taxes increase.
The release by the TNRD highlighted increased operating costs due to inflation impacting contract costs, service delivery and fuel and supply.
It also highlighted wage increases, rising insurance rates and Information and Technology (IT) and cybersecurity-related fees as factors impacting costs.
For capital projects, the budget includes $138,050 for transfer station improvements in SPMRM.
For protective services, Whitecroft can expect to see an increase in fire protection services, with $33,262 earmarked for that use. It represents a 21.72 per cent increase in fire protection funding compared to the 2022 budget.
Whitecroft also has a 29.41 per cent increase budgeted for street lighting under transportation expenditures, with $2,200 budgeted.
Last year, the TNRD did not account for IT costs but spent nearly $9,000 on costs associated with information technology. This year, the district has upped the budget to $960,922, citing Microsoft 365 software and a need for “new secure network products technology to enhance cyber security” as some of its planned IT-related expenditures.
TNRD administrative salaries increased in the budget by almost $1 million. In 2022, salaries were expected to cost $2,070,000, while in 2023, the expected cost of salaries has increased to $3,057,090.
The budget notes the TNRD has introduced a new position, External Relationship Coordinator, as an administrative role, while “negotiated wage increases and salary increase” also impacted the amount budgeted for administrative salaries.
“We have worked in earnest to prepare a budget that is fiscally prudent and sensitive to global economic challenges, while maintaining the ability to deliver services which we are mandated to provide,” TNRD chief administrative officer Scott Hildebrand said in the press release.
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