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October 27, 2017 5:52 pm

Tax Rate Set

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. –  The tax rate bylaw  has been approved by Prince George City Council.

The  bylaw  sets out the  different rates for different types of properties and is aimed  at raising  $100,547,802  for general  operating costs,  the snow levy , road rehab and general infrastructure.    In all,  the  amount needed to be collected through taxation is 3.18% more than  last year.

Once the Regional District of Fraser Fort George rate is included ,  here is how  much the  owners of  varying property types will have to pay per one thousand dollars of assessment  (the amounts do not take into account any  grants or reductions) :

  • Residential:       $8.90752
  • Utility:  $47.45896
  • Supportive Housing:   $8.4234
  • Major Industry:  $51.15137
  • Light Industry:   $31.7444
  • Business/Other :  $20.09576
  • Managed Forest Land:  $11.02593
  • Recreation/Non-Profit:  $8.90752
  • Farm:  $6.718

Council will meet again on Wednesday at noon to give the bylaw  final reading.  “This has been a  long process” said Mayor Lyn Hall, “We  certainly don’t take  a tax increase lightly, it’s just a matter of where we are, and   the fact we have a tremendous amount of work to do.”



It has taken years to finally expose some truths about our city spending and particularly our tax dollars and where quite large amounts of our money is secretly spent. Without a word to the public and covered up by secrecy and agreements signed to keep the amounts private.

Editor’s note:

This comment has been removed because of the allegations made against individuals and the City, both of which are legally actionable. Suffice to say, the comment alleges there have been a number of wrongful dismissals resulting in settlements which are not made public. All replies to this comment have been removed as well.

Elaine Macdonald.

    This just one of many dept’s the city has. If all dept’s are as messed up, the costs would be absolutely huge !!

    “Once the money has changed hands it is THEIR money and they can do with it as they please!”


    The money remains in Taxpayers’ hands.
    It is not given freely.
    It is given in trust.

    Council is elected to run the City with the expectation that it does so to at least common standard, and to most of our expectations to the best practices standard.

    We need an independent quality auditor at this City that will inform us on what is really going on and how to improve the situation.

Given the latest softwood lumber news out of the States, one would expect a resource based town like PG to put the brakes on tax increases until they determine the effects of the newest tariff.

City taxes are like compound interest but at a far higher rate than bank interest on your money. The city operates like an American express card with no fixed spending limit.
No problem for the people at city hall. Need more money, just raise taxes as the paying public and industry have no recourse. I wonder how many seniors and working people are seeing a 3% increase in income this year. Not many I suspect.

    There is a limit imposed by the Province.

    I’ll leave you to do a bit of research to find out what it is.

    It will be much harder for the city to keep taxes increases down over the next few years because of the increase in borrowing. Currently there are three items going through the AA process for something around $10 million and the pool and fire hall an additional $50 od million. The effect of this is to add around $5 million a year to borrowing cost while only retiring around $2 million. So unless they find cost savings in other areas it will mean a 2-3% increase in taxes right off the bat.

    The 5 year financial plan shows a bunch of other projects will be funded through MFA borrowing adding to yearly borrowing costs. Scarier still is the unfunded list where some $80 million in borrowing for projects such as library entrance, Malispina connector, 16/Ferry ave improvements, Ospika connector etc. etc.

    Only bright spot in this picture is the Terrasen lease in/lease out will free up a few million per year after 2021.

    Side note: I got a big laugh looking at the revenue side…..the city took in a whole grand, 1000 smackeroonies, renting out the old city cop shop. Wonder who the sucker was?

      I thought it was the winter games

      Haunted house folks

More tax increases, thanks PG.

I pay my fair share of taxes. I pay.. Lets start talking about reducing costs instead.

As other posters say, not many of us will be seeing a 3% increase this year, no matter what job they are doing.

I would at least like some of that data to be made public, rather than swept under the rug as it seems to have been. At least then we know where our increasing tax dollars are being spent?

    I do not mind paying taxes.

    What I do mind is finding out every now and then the waste we have at City Hall based on incompetence. A few mistakes, okay as long as the people responsible are identified within the city administration, put on notice, given training to improve their knowledge and skills, re-evaluated and given an alternate job, asked to resign, retire early, or simply given the pink slip if alternate methods of dealing with the situation are not available.

      Thanks gopg. I should clarify my own post a bit – I also do not mind paying my fair share of taxes. A lot of good comes from them.

      As you say, mistakes happen, and I am not advocating for any particular set of actions. A positive work environment uses any “bad” event as an opportunity for improvement. What did we do right? What could we have done better?

      It would be nice if these discussions could be had openly. This site has been a pretty decent venue for perhaps uncomfortable discussions in the past. Just because its uncomfortable we shouldn’t be afraid to chime in and participate in a dialogue.

      Certainly slander is not appropriate – although I didn’t actually interpret the removed post that way personally, they were allegations at worst. Perhaps if I was named in the post I may have a different perspective though.

      Screening comments would be one way of keeping these things from being publicly viewed, but will stifle the discussion and lead to increased burden on the site administrators/moderators.

      I also don’t mind paying taxes. I pay them each and every year, in full and on time! In return, all that I ask of “government”, is that they spend my hard-earned tax dollars wisely and efficiently!

      I’m not so sure that I always get was I ask for! ;-)

Recreation/Non-Profit: $8.90752

It’s been a while since I volunteered with a non-profit but we used to get the property taxed waived by the city. We had to fill out some forms to justify some pencil pushers job but we never paid property taxes.

Are they paying now?

    Non-profits get a tax waver to the tune of about $1 million per year if I remember correctly. Can’t check as the launch of the city’s new website has gone as I expected…total fail….or it could be that the plain white motif has gone a bit too far:P

      I like the new site. Easier to move around. Am checking for data content.

      What is missing is an opportunity to comment.

      For example, I was checking out the heritage site. I would like to comment on those pages since there are some things missing.

      Each such section should have that opportunity at the time when someone is viewing the page in question which will then be directed to the appropriate individual responsible.

      It is called feedback, interaction between the public and the corporate entity. It is missing, the Talktober concept brought to today’s media.

      I took the opportunity to look up some financial data. Needs some more information. Needs feedback to allow people to indicate what types of compiled data would be helpful for comparative analysis for various departments as well as city to city.

      For instance, there is still a lot of misunderstanding by the citizens of this and likely other communities how to compare property taxes from PG with Kelowna, Surrey, Vancouver, etc.

      Still too many people posting that someone in PG who has a $350,000 assessed residence pays more than someone in Vancouver who has a residence assessed at twice the value.

      No wonder people continue to believe they are paying to much property taxes if those are the kinds of mistaken comparisons they make.

      Now here is something more reasonable, in my mind to look at, the remuneration report for City employees for 2015.

      244 individuals made more than $75,000. In a number of cases that includes overtime as well as payouts on leaving the employment of the City.

      Here is what I find astonishing. 65 of those individuals received remuneration greater than $100,000. That is just over 25% of those over $75,000.

      So, that cohort received a total of close to $23 million and those below $75,000 received close to $26 million.

      The total number of employees on the payroll for 2015 is not provided.

      I did a bit of analysis of the remuneration info from 2015 with respect to info available for those who received more than $75,000 that year.

      These are sorted by department with highest remuneration in each, no of employees who received more than $75,000, total remuneration fore those employees and average remuneration for those employees.

      Since there is no comparative information for those with remuneration below $75,000, this is a list with a restricted cohort.

      James, Beth Corporate Management 117 $10,762,738 $91,989

      Gaal, William Public Works Department 64 $5,848,289 $91,380

      Emery, Rae-Ann Corporate Services Dept 24 $2,284,836 $95,201

      Whitwham, Robert Recreation & Cultural Services 18 $1,815,989 $100,888

      Wells, Ian Planning & Development Dept 12 $1,164,164 $97,014

      Babicz, Walter Legal & Regulatory Services 6 $628,912 $104,819

      Marren, Janet Library 3 $258,419 $86,140

When the economy in this town goes for a crap because the US stopped buying our wood, They won’t need a new pool. They’ll need soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

    West Fraser up 9.5% and Canfor up over 7% today so markets are not seeing all doom and gloom going forward.

    CME lumber futures are down a bit today but still hovering around $400 till Jan 18. So with the duty and exchange rates WFT amd CFP still get over $425/mfbf – a price they can still make money at till they win in court again.

    Trump is still an Idiot though and Wilbur Ross almost as bad…..a quote from this dolt on trade with Canada.

    “I wouldn’t regard the Canadian situation as being anything like the war with ISIS, but it certainly is a very precise set of tariffs on a very precise set of imports.”


    Who said the US will stop buying wood? The US does not have the capacity as they ramp up to building more dwelling units. It mostly raises the lumber prices in the US which has an impact of housing prices, leading to more inflation.

    Remember, Trump wants a lower US$ valuation. Then again, he changes his mind more often than he changes his pants.

Perhaps actionable comments should not be allowed to be posted at all, rather than make it onto the site and read by all who visit the site. I read the comment first thing in the morning and replied to it. I referred to the comment as being allegations.

So the site would have to screen all comments first and then decide what is o.k. and what is not. Comments do not have to appear immediately after they are submitted.

Time for the city to look at cost cutting… Definite freeze on new outlays as far as im concerned. Fire hall? Transit center? Library entrance? Park operations new offices? Spca building? Ft.george park pavillion? Just the ones that come to mind, im sure there are others.

    2 swimming pools in need of repair, the Coliseum….the Elkscentre, the parkades, lots of big ticket items on the horizon.

    BCSPCA building is no paid for by City tax dollars. Most of the money comes from donations and legacies from people who have died as well as others who have donated from across the province.

I thought the feds were going to release some of the infrastructure dollars they had promised years ago

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