Of the $3,447 in taxes and charges levied on a typical $588,000 single-family house in 2017, about two-thirds are municipal property taxes, including for police.

Of the $3,447 in taxes and charges levied on a typical $588,000 single-family house in 2017, about two-thirds are municipal property taxes, including for police.

Staff proposes 2.47 per cent property tax hike

Policing accounts for largest chunk of increased spending in Abbotsford

Abbotsford’s property taxes are set to go up slightly next year, thanks to increased policing costs and inflationary pressures.

But whether individual homeowners will be paying much more, or less, will likely to be determined more by December’s assessment numbers.

Last week, council got its first look at city staff’s proposed budget, which suggests a 2.47 increase in revenue collected from homeowners.

For the average resident of a typical single-family home worth $588,000, that figure would represent a tax-bill increase of $73, including water and sewer fees. For a $400,000 home, that would translate to a $56 increase. But few non-hypothetical residents are likely to see a precisely 2.47 per cent change in their tax bill.

Read the budget presentation here.

Instead, because residents are taxed on the assessed value of their homes, their bills will rise or fall based on how much BC Assessment thinks their house and land has changed, compared to the city average.

That means residents who see their properties appreciate more than average will end up paying far more than $73, while those who see smaller increases will pay less, or even see their taxes drop.

That’s what happened last year, when the city raised taxes by 2.13 per cent but many complained about tax bills that jumped by hundreds of dollars.

That led Mayor Henry Braun to speak to BC Assessment about how it values properties, and whether changes were being applied fairly and uniformly.

Last year, owners of single-family houses saw the largest assessment increases. Speaking to The News this week, Braun predicted townhouse and apartment homeowners who may have had a break last year could see sharply higher assessments this year.

Staff said Abbotsford’s taxes remain well below average compared to other B.C. cities with more than 35,000 people. Among neighbouring municipalities, only Chilliwack property owners pay less in tax.

Council has previously directed staff to keep tax increases in line with a “municipal price index” that paces inflationary costs on municipalities, like gas hikes and other goods and services bought by cities.

The 2.47 per cent increase, which is in line with that municipal price index increase, is more than the 2.18 anticipated last year.

Of that increase, nearly half – 46 per cent – was requested by Abbotsford Police, which has asked for a three per cent budget increase and which constitutes about one-fifth of all city spending.

Another 43 per cent of the tax increase would go to city expenses, with the remainder to transit and the Fraser Valley Regional Library.

The tax increase is expected to bring in about $3.2 million in new revenue to the city. Another $1.9 million is coming thanks to new development.

Of the $3,447 in taxes and charges levied on a typical $588,000 single-family house in 2017, about two-thirds are municipal property taxes, including for police. The next largest chunk are school taxes, with the remainder water, solid waste and sewer fees, and taxes for the Fraser Valley Regional District and hospital district.

Other figures presented by staff suggest the city is on increasingly solid financial footing. Long-term debt, and the interest rates that service those loans, have been decreasing steadily, while net financial assets have risen by more than $150 million since 2012.

The city has also been putting an increasing percentage of its revenue into reserves, which now stand at $140 million. That money, staff told council, is needed for the coming decades in order to maintain more than $1 billion worth of city infrastructure and to fund major water and sewer improvements.

Council must still approve the budget.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ripy Jubbal of Abbotsford has received a 30-month jail sentence for the fraudulent use of credit cards and credit card data. (Facebook photo)
Abbotsford woman sentenced for $80K in fraudulent credit card purchases

Ripy Jubbal and spouse used identities of 19 different victims, court hears

Dutch Canadian Liberation Society donates commemorative panels to Abbotsford school

Upper Sumas Elementary School receives artwork highlighting students work with Dutch Heritage Day

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. (File photo)
UPDATE: 2 cougars killed following attack in Harrison Mills

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

Abbotsford graphic designer pitches Flyers rebrand for AHL team

Alex Svarez suggests new affiliate team turns back the clock and brings back Flyers moniker

Mike Haire, a former vice-principal at W. A. Fraser Middle School in Abbotsford, began court proceedings on Monday, May 3 in New Westminster for two child pornography offences.
Trial paused for former Abbotsford vice-principal charged with child porn

Judge reserves decision on admissibility of evidence against Mike Haire

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Mary Kitagawa was born on Salt Spring Island and was seven years old when she was interned along with 22,000 B.C. residents in 1942. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds health services for survivors of Japanese internment

Seniors describe legacy of World War II displacement

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read