Taxes to rise 2.57 per cent

Hike includes 1.59 per cent in general tax and 0.87 per cent increase for police.

Taxes to rise 2.57 per cent

Abbotsford taxes are set to rise by 2.57 per cent in 2016, with an increase of 1.59 per cent in general tax and an additional 0.87 per cent added for police services and 0.11 per cent for the Fraser Valley Regional Library.

Water and sewer fees are staying put, though tiered pricing for heavy users is being eliminated.

The new budget plan would result in roughly $53 more in annual property taxes for an owner of a $406,000 single family residence, a reference value provided by the city.

The increase is called for in response to rising contract costs, such as construction and maintenance, fuel and natural gas expenses, and a reduction in the amount of investment income.

The plan will focus on early payout of water and sewer debt in 2016, toward an overall goal of reducing the city’s long-term debt load, which stands at about $70 million, the majority of which was borrowed to build the Abbotsford Centre. Debt for the facility will remain outstanding until 2032.

The overall operating expenses for the city are budgeted at $184 million, with capital costs budgeted at $40 million. There are over 800 city employees.

The arena will continue to operate at a loss, projected at $2.7 million in 2016, factoring in the cost of debt interest. The city implemented a plan last year called “A New Game” that aims to increase community programming in the facility.

The library increase, as determined by the Fraser Valley Regional Library board, includes contractual increases in labour costs and an inflationary increase in the cost of purchasing library materials.

The police budget increase would fund five new positions: four investigative support officers and one IT help desk analyst.

Investigative support officers are not trained to the same level as regular police officers, and are paid at a lower rate. They support police with routine tasks like collecting witness statements and processing probation check-ins.

Budget documents said the city will continue work in 2016 on a revised Official Community Plan along with neighbourhood-level plans, which will be completed with community input.

There was a municipal tax decrease of 0.41 per cent in 2014, in contrast to increases over several previous years. Taxes increased 5.5 per cent in 2009, 4.5 per cent in 2010, and 4.3 per cent in 2011; the city then saw more-modest hikes of 1.66 per cent in 2012 and 1.28 per cent in 2013.

The financial plan is set to receive final approval at a Nov. 16 council meeting.

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

Just Posted

Agassiz Fire Department has been called to an ATV rollover on Harrison East Forest Service Road on Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Google Maps)
Agassiz Fire called out to ATV rollover incident on Harrison FSR

Morning call follows exceptionally busy Saturday as temperatures soar in Fraser Valley

A Chilliwack Search and Rescue truck heads down Vedder Road towards Cultus Lake to assist a dirtbiker with a broken leg. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Emergency crews, SAR busy with three separate outdoor recreation incidents in Chilliwack area

Calls in 1 afternoon include ATV collision, parachuter who fell from tree, dirtbiker with broken leg

Chilliwack’s historic Royal Hotel is offering COVID-style wedding packages for two weeks in June. (Facebook/ Royal Hotel Chilliwack)
Chilliwack hotel offers pop-up, COVID-style weddings for 2 weeks this June

‘Weddings can still happen, albeit in a different fashion,’ says Laura Reid of Royal Hotel

Nick Warmerdam and his dog Diesel are inviting locals to check out the Lakeland Farm U-pick Flower Farm this spring. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers opens for spring

Tulip farm attraction opened on April 14, open to the public daily seven days a week

A man holds a child while speaking with RCMP following an erratic driving incident on Highway 1 in Chilliwack on Friday, April 16, 2021. The child and a woman (but not this man) were in this Jeep Grand Cherokee which hit a barrier and a parked car on Highway 1 and continued driving. The vehicle finally exited the highway at Yale Road West and came to a stop. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Video captures woman driving erratically with child after hitting barrier, car on Hwy 1 in Chilliwack

Smoke seen coming from SUV as it continues to travel eastbound of shoulder of highway

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of April 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

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