Abbotsford taxpayers are looking at an average property tax hike of just under three per cent this year.
The city’s preliminary budget has staff suggesting a 2.9 per cent total budget increase (including a .5 per cent capital infrastructure levy). This is up from the 2.05 per cent increase in 2021 and 2.12 per cent in 2020.
The tax increase is expected to bring in about $6 million in new revenue to the city.
The total city budget for 2022 is $283 million, of which $230 million is for operating expenses and the rest for capital projects.
For the average resident of a typical single-family home assessed at $785,000 (before the new assessment values were issued this month), the 2.9 per cent would represent a tax-bill increase of about $75.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean individual homeowners will see their own bills rise by exactly that amount.
Since property taxes are based on a home’s assessed value, only those properties with values that rise (or fall) exactly in line with the city average will see that average tax increase.
Residents whose property values drop in value, compared to the city average, will see a smaller increase – or even a decrease. Meanwhile, those whose home’s value increases more than the city average will end up paying more in tax.
Of the $3,940 in taxes and charges levied on the average single-family house, about 65 per cent ($2,560) is for municipal property taxes, including for police.
The next largest chunk ($1,170) is for schools, with the remainder going to water, solid waste and sewer fees and taxes for the Fraser Valley Regional District and hospital.
The preliminary budget allows for a 3.2 per cent increase in the budget for the Abbotsford Police Department, compared to 1.55 per cent in 2021.
Police Chief Mike Serr told council at a recent budget meeting that the department has experienced increased cost pressures this year, including $575,000 more in WorkSafeBC premiums and $110,000 more towards the EComm dispatch contract.
The department is also planning to hire two new civilian employees – a network analyst and an investigative assistant.
Council must still approve the budget, which is scheduled for final adoption in May.