Residents in Lake Country will have to pay an additional 5.88 per cent in property taxes in 2020 and an extra $25 for the district’s parcel tax, after council unanimously passed second and third reading of its five-year financial plan on Feb. 20.
That means the average home assessed at $711,000 will have to pay an extra $123 per year in property taxes and the parcel tax will increase from $125 to $150 per parcel of land.
The tax increase is slightly lower than the 6.03 per cent tax increase that was first proposed in December and significantly lower than the 8.7 per cent tax increase approved in 2019.
Lake Country chief financial officer Tanya Garost said the district’s total revenue will increase to $46.3 million in 2020 from $33.7 million last year.
According to the financial plan, 2.5 per cent of the increase will cover the consumer price index, while 1.82 per cent of the increase will help pay for five additional RCMP officers.
The remaining tax increase will help cover the $170,000 cost to complete the district’s parks and recreation master plan, $25,000 to help service the Lake Country Theatre and two $10,000 grants for the Health and Planning Society and the local Heritage and Cultural Society.
Council also agreed to provide a $16,000 grant for the Lake Country Art Gallery.
In December, district staff told council that Lake Country needs more RCMP officers because of population growth over the past few years.
Currently, Lake Country has 13 officers and the detachment is struggling to provide 24-hour policing service.
Garost said the budget also includes an additional $8.2 million for capital projects paid for by reserves, grants and development fees, which did not impact the overall tax increase.
District councillors are expected to adopt the bylaw for its five-year capital plan in March.
To view the approved capital plan, you can visit the District of Lake Country’s website.