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No tax hike for Campbell River businesses
Campbell River businesses won’t see an increase in taxes this year. Instead, the heavy lifting will be done by residents.
Given the tough economic climate and the desire to bring business to Campbell River, city councilors have decided that their 13.6 per cent tax increase won’t affect commercial or business properties.
City Hall Manager Andy Laidlaw outlined the city’s budget on Friday and explained businesses are exempt from the new tax because they do not use most of the city’s services.
“I think Council recognizes that it’s a very difficult time for business and again that the consumer of these services are residential,” Laidlaw said.
Since 2002, Campbell River has weaned itself off dependence on the Catalyst Mill. At its peak, Catalyst accounted for 34 per cent of the City’s tax revenue. With the closure of the mill, the City must now find new ways to fill the deficit hole that lost income has created.
The Chamber of Commerce agrees with the City’s belt-tightening strategy and fiscal prudency.
“This [strategy] is critical to business success so we understand that having a business plan and having realistic budget and living within our means as business owners is how we succeed,” says Colleen Evans, Chamber of Commerce spokesperson.
The tax increase has yet to become a bylaw. April 19 is the next date that the City will discuss the financial plan.
Mayor Walter Jakeway has been a vocal opponent to the plan and called for a tax revolt from the citizens of Campbell River.
“I’m not sure what’s going to happen [with the budget]. It’s going to be interesting. I think we’re going to find a solution to the problem,” says Jakeway. “I know there are several delegations coming who are speaking at the council meeting.”
The Council meeting will be at 6:30pm at City Hall on April 19.
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