Abbotsford City Hall File photo

Abbotsford City Hall File photo

Abbotsford council approves 3% tax hike

City to hire eight new employees, two firefighters and two police officers

Council approved this year’s budget and a three per cent tax increase on Monday with no objections.

The budget marks the first time in four years that taxes will rise faster than inflation. That’s mainly attributed to the new employer health tax (EHT), which was brought in by the provincial government to replace MSP fees.

More than half the money recouped from the property tax hike of 2.98 per cent, to be exact, will go towards paying the EHT.

Individual homeowners will experience the tax increase differently.

Those who saw property assessments increase faster than the 11 per cent city average will see larger tax hikes, while those whose properties saw below average assessment rises will see a smaller increase (or, potentially, a decrease) in their property taxes.

The budget, which also projects revenue increases from development charges and other fees, will allow the city to boost spending by nearly $8 million.

It will allow the city to hire seven new employees, including a new bylaw screening officer, IT person, and a pair of building inspectors.

Two new firefighters will also be hired to man a new medical unit, while the Abbotsford Police Department will hire a homeless co-ordinator and another officer for its gang crime unit.

MORE DETAILS: Abbotsford council eyes 2.98% tax increase

MORE: Abbotsford Police Department asks city for two new officers