The District of Kent is once again planning a 3.25 per cent tax increase for homeowners in the community.
On Monday, Feb. 22, the District of Kent will be hosting a virtual open house to community members to provide comments on the district’s 2021-2025 financial plan. A video posted on the district’s website goes over much of the information that would ordinarily be presented during an in-person open house.
The district is expecting to spend nearly $10.3 million in 2021, including $1.5 million for parks and recreation, $1.5 million for $1.5 million for engineering, $1.2 million for policing and $2.5 million for general government services.
The main increases to the budget come from operating costs for general government services and policing, with increasing wages, vehicle maintenance, electricity costs and other related costs. The district is also planning to increase its contributions to its capital reserve, to fund infrastructure projects.
About $60,000 of the increase is expected to be covered by growth in the community, and the remaining $225,000 shortfall will be covered by property tax increases.
The property tax increase is on par with what the district has put forward in previous years.
User rates for water and sewer will also be increasing two per cent in 2021, as was already approved in 2020 through the district bylaw. There is no increase for drainage levies this year, and 12 kilometres of waterways are expected to be dredged this year.
The biggest single capital expense expected for 2021 is a new Agassiz Slough flood box, which is expected to cost $1.4 million. The district has allocated $965,000 in grant funding to support the flood box project.
The district is also hoping to spend $1.1 million to expand its water system — although this expense would be dependent on grants. Other grant-dependent projects included in the plan are the indoor aquatic centre, which the district is hoping to receive a planned $11.8 million grant to support for 2022 and 2023.
The full video outlining the 2021-2025 financial plan is available on the District of Kent website. Comments on the plan can also be provided through the website in advance of the virtual open house on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.