Armstrong residents are facing a 2.6 percent tax hike next year.
That’s the figure Armstrong council is supporting, giving the financial plan bylaw three readings Monday, with final approval expected at their next meeting.
Mayor Chris Pieper fees the increase is reasonable, and reflects the cost of living.
“In November, the cost of living index said it was 2.6% so we set that as our goal. We didn’t want to go over that, and we didn’t want any decrease in service levels. That was a challenge for staff to put that together,” Pieper tells Beach Radio News.
It doesn’t include school or police taxes which are invoiced separately by the province.
“Our police taxes will be going up. In the contract we signed in 2017, we agreed to one extra RCMP for Armstrong in 2019, so there definitely will be an increase in the police costs for the community,” says Pieper.
Council will give final approval to the budget in January, several months faster than past years, which the mayor says is due to staff changes, and a new system.
“Normally we don’t do it until March or April. With changes in staff, they’ve worked in different areas, and they really like to do it at this time of the year.”
Pieper says it allows for projects to get put out to tender earlier in the new year.
“I think it will work out. There are a few little tweaks we want to see next year, but when things change, there is always hindsight. We want to do a bit more in timing and getting the community involvement in the budget, so we want a little more time next year for the public to see what’s going on.”
Pieper was not aware of what the 2.6% increase translated to as far as dollars for the average homeowner.