Rural residents no ‘free riders,’ says FVRD official

Rural residents of the Fraser Valley Regional District are going to pay more in total tax requisitions than municipal residents in 2011, according to a FVRD financial report.

Rural residents of the Fraser Valley Regional District are going to pay more in total tax requisitions than municipal residents in 2011, according to a FVRD financial report.

Which should end the “free riders” charge leveled by the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce when it lobbied that city to pull out of the FVRD.

“We don’t owe the municipalities diddly-squat,” Dick Bogstie, head of the FVRD’s Community & Regulatory Services Committee (formerly the Electoral Area Services Committee) and the director in Area F, said Tuesday.

He agreed Abbotsford and other municipalities in the region were “probably subsidizing the electoral areas to some extent” before the funding formula was changed as part of a major re-structuring of the regional government.

“The tax increase in rural areas is actually going to be fairly small,” he said. “But it took some soul-searching, and some changes in the way we do business.”

Taxes collected from the seven electoral areas of the FVRD will total $6.5 million in 2011, compared to the total $5.3 million requisitioned from the six municipalities, according to the report.

Last year, municipal members paid $6.6 million while $5.7 million was collected from the electoral areas.

Bogstie said the requisition in electoral areas is going up “based on a very complicated formula of who does what and who gets what.”

For instance, electoral areas are charged for space and staff at the regional office building, unlike municipal members who have their own city halls.

“It’s not unreasonable,” he said. “(The space) is only used by the electoral areas, so the electoral areas should pay for it.”

Taxes are also collected only if a rural area or a municipality takes part in a service provided by the regional district. The more services, the more tax is requisitioned.

For instance, Hope residents pay for recreational services funded by the regional district, but Chilliwack River Valley residents do not because they use recreational services funded by the city.

In a municipality, the regional taxes are also spread out over a larger population, so individual residents pay less.

Bogstie said electoral area directors recognized residents in their areas could be hit with “horrendous” tax increases under the new formula, so they worked to pare down the FVRD’s budget “so the pain to the rural tax payer … is absolutely as minimal as we can make it.”

Under a restructuring of the regional government, $450,000 in savings was made through a “limited” hiring freeze, which saw a number of staff positions eliminated by attrition rather than layoffs.

The number of committees was also reduced as the FVRD “recast” its operations into two divisions, the Regional and Corporate Services and Community and Regulatory Services.

 

Here’s the 2011 tax requisition breakdown for electoral areas:

Area A will pay a total $409,821 or about $312 for an average assessed residential property.

Area B will pay a total $1.2 million or about $394 for an average residential property.

Area C will pay a total $696,220 or about $242 for an average residential property.

Area D will pay a total $294,301 or about $378 for an average residential property.

Area E will pay a total $760,148 or about $330 for an average residential property.

Area F will pay a total $436,523 or about $301 for an average residential property.

Area G will pay a total $311,273 or about $3363 for an average residential property.

In Hope, because the FVRD funds services like the recreation centre and the airport, an average assessed residential property there will pay about $270.

In Kent (Agassiz), an average residential property will pay about $34.

In Harrison, an average residential property will pay about $43.

In Mission, an average residential property will pay about $44.

In Chilliwack, an average residential property will pay about $35.

In Abbotsford, an average residential property will pay about $29.

Just Posted

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

Agassiz Agricultural Hall hosts COVID-19 vaccination clinics every Wednesday. District officials reported more than 300 doses are administered per week. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Walk-in COVID vaccine clinic scheduled for Wednesday

Walk-in appointments available while supplies last from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in March at the Hope Station House, showing support for preserving the 1916 building. (Photo/Christian Ward)
New reports breathe life into efforts to save the Hope Station House

The documents were presented to District of Hope Council at a meeting June 14

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Most Read