Bowen Island Municipality wants you to participate in the 2020 Budget process. The Community Charter requires that local governments approve a Five Year Financial Plan bylaw each year prior to the adoption of the annual property tax bylaw. The Financial Plan is also commonly referred to as the Budget.
The draft 2020 Budget will be available soon. This is a draft because Council has not approved it yet. We will be seeking your feedback through our Budget consultation process in February.
You can find highlights of the 2020 Budget below.
Please join us for a Budget information session at Municipal Hall on the following dates:
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Thursday, February 13, 2020
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Understanding your property taxes
Bowen Island Municipality collects property taxes to pay for the services we provide to the community. We try to keep taxes down as much as possible by looking for funding opportunities such as grants, user fees and other non-taxation funding before resorting to an increase in property tax rates.
We’re also required by legislation to collect taxes on behalf of other taxing authorities, such as Metro Vancouver, Islands Trust and Translink.
Only about 57% of the taxes on your property tax bill is kept by the municipality to pay for the services we provide. The rest is collected and turned over to the other taxing authorities. We have no control over the tax rates charged by other taxing authorities.
Here’s how the property tax bills were broken down in 2019:
The 2020 Budget
The proposed 2020-2024 financial plan (also known as the Budget) outlines the expected revenues and expenses for 2020 and the following four years. The Budget has been developed to make sure we can meet our operational and capital project needs, and reflects funding for Council’s strategic priorities.
In preparing the Budget, we have explored opportunities to leverage grant funding, reviewed expenses for savings opportunities without impacting service levels, and made adjustments to user fees to keep taxes down as much as possible.
Bowen Island Municipality provides services to the community such as emergency planning, bylaw enforcement, fire protection and emergency aid, recreation and community services, maintenance of parks and trails, planning and development services, and road maintenance - just to name a few.
Here’s how the 2020 Budget proposes to spend your property taxes:
We anticipate spending $6.3 million on general fund capital projects in 2020. The general fund major projects are the new Community Centre, new Firehall and a Multi-Use Path. Significant grant funding from the federal and provincial governments is anticipated for the Community Centre, Water Treatment Plant and Multi-Use Path. The Community Centre and Firehall projects will also be funded in part by long-term debt which will affect costs over the next five years.
The community’s infrastructure is aging and a number of our assets including fire trucks will have to be replaced in the near future. Other significant assets that need renewal or replacement in 2020 include the Miller Road culvert, Honeymoon Creek culvert, several sections of road infrastructure, the artificial turf field, and the salt and sand loader. Reserve balances are not enough to fund replacement of these assets. This challenge must continue to be addressed to ensure a sustainable financial plan.
Property tax increase
In 2020, a property tax increase of 7.6% is required to fund the net increase in operating costs. The main drivers of this increase are:
|Tax increase||Revenue generated|
Replacement and renewal of assets
Much of the community’s infrastructure is aging and we will have to replace it in the future. We have not historically saved enough money to cover these costs. Council has approved a policy to increase taxes annually by 1.5 percent to address this funding gap.
Council strategic initiatives
Every Council term, Council establishes its vision for the term. Council strategic initiatives that support this vision are established on an annual basis. Some of these initiatives have funding implications. This provision will provide funding to carry out Council strategic initiatives.
General operating costs
Due to rising costs in insurance, professional fees for services, contractor services, wages, benefits and other factors.
|Total operating budget increase||7.6%||$411,500|
Increase in Waste and Recycling costs
An increase of $179/year for the garbage parcel tax is required to fund waste and recycling services. Bowen Island Municipality contracts Bowen Waste Solutions (BWS), who employs 16 people on the island and has been providing these services for 25 years. A new seven-year contract has been reached in 2020. The increased contract costs provide for reinvestment in equipment and facilities. It also reflects conditions unique to Bowen Island such as low development density, ferry transportation, challenging roads, access and other factors.
Waste and recycling costs will increase from $421 per property to $600 per property, per year.
The property tax and garbage parcel tax increases proposed in the Budget will allow us to continue delivering important services to the community and to ensure enough funding is available to take care of the community’s assets.
How will these increases affect you?
The increase you see on your tax bill will depend on your assessment value. The average property on Bowen Island is assessed at $1,086,000, but yours may be higher or lower. Check your 2020 property assessment from BC Assessment for more detail.
Here’s an example of how the proposed 2020 increases may affect you:
Don’t forget, this is only the Municipal portion of your tax bill, and does not reflect any changes from the other taxing authorities mentioned above.
Submit a question or comment
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Chief Financial Officer
Last Updated on 2020-02-13 at 12:47 PM