By: The Working Forest Staff
KAMLOOPS, CFJCTODAY.COM — Kamloops council has made changes to a pair of bylaws that impact the taxes and fees it receives, though neither directly impacts the average homeowner.
The first change will see the Class 4 heavy industry tax rate be set at the average of BC cities, not including those with ports.
This comes in response to years of grappling with a heavy industry tax rate that is significantly higher than average for BC municipalities. This has been a sticking point particularly for the Domtar pulp mill, one of only three properties in Kamloops to pay this rate.
“This is really to develop a sustainable tax rate and fairness in taxation,” noted Councillor Denis Walsh, who sits on the city’s finance committee. “Domtar’s stated goal regarding this industrial tax rate — they’re looking for a stable rate to hopefully encourage future development and the longevity of the mill.”
The other two heavy industry properties in Kamloops belong to Tolko and Lafarge, and both pay a fraction of what Domtar does in property taxes.
Meantime, council also tweaked its development cost charge (DCC) bylaw, weighting the fees to reflect projections for future growth.
“The new DCC rates are being recommended based on growth projections. So it worked out well; we just updated the [Official Community Plan] last year,” said Director of Development, Engineering and Sustainability Marvin Kwiatkowski. “A lot of work is put into growth projections, so we had that very fresh from the OCP that council had adopted prior year.”
“We also looked at major capital projects. That’s a significant component of the DCC program — coming up with a project list,” added Kwiatkowski.
DCCs are paid by developers to offset the costs of off-site utilities and amenities, such as parks and water infrastructure.
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