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Infrastructure &
Finance Division
 

Full Implementation of New Requirements for Municipal Financial Plans - Attachment

 

Circular No. 09:13a

 


Town of Bliss
2009-2013 Financial Plan
Statement of Objectives and Policies
Schedule ‘A’ of Bylaw No. 659

 

 

In accordance with Section 165(3.1) of the Community Charter, the Town of Bliss (Town) is required to include in the Five Year Financial Plan, objectives and policies regarding each of the following:
  1. The proportion of total revenue that comes from each of the funding sources described in Section 165(7) of the Community Charter;
  2. The distribution of property taxes among the property classes, and
  3. The use of permissive tax exemptions.
Funding Sources
Table 1 shows the proportion of total revenue proposed to be raised from each funding source in 2009. Property taxes form the greatest proportion of revenue. As a revenue source, property taxation offers a number of advantages, for example, it is simple to administer and it is fairly easy for residents to understand. It offers a stable and reliable source of revenue for services that are difficult or undesirable to fund on a user-pay basis. These include services such as general administration, fire protection, police services, bylaw enforcement and street lighting.
 
User fees and charges form the second largest portion of planned revenue. Many services can be measured and charged on a user-pay basis. Services where fees and charges can be easily administered include water and sewer usage, building permits, business licenses, and sale of services – these are charged on a user pay basis. User fees attempt to apportion the value of a service to those who use the service.
 
Objective
  • Over the next five years, the Town will increase the proportion of revenue that is received from user fees and charges by at least 3 percent over the current levels.
Policies
  • The Town will review all user fee levels to ensure they are adequately meeting both the capital and delivery costs of the service.
  • Universal water metering will be instituted to ensure that appropriate user fees are being collected for water usage.
  • Where possible, the Town will endeavor to supplement revenues from user fees and charges, rather than taxation, to lessen the burden on its limited property tax base.
Table 1: Sources of Revenue
Revenue Source% of Total RevenueDollar Value
Property taxes51%$510,000
User Fees and charges24%$240,000
Other Sources12%$120,000
Proceeds from borrowing4%$40,000
Government grants9%$90,000
Total100%$1,000,000
 
Distribution of Property Tax Rates
Table 2 outlines the distribution of property taxes among the property classes. The residential property class provides the largest proportion of property tax revenue. This is appropriate as this class also forms the largest portion of the assessment base and consumes the majority of Town services.
 
Objectives
  • Over the next five years, reduce the share of property tax paid by Major Industry (Class 4) by at least 2 percent. This reduction of the tax burden on industrial properties was agreed to in consensus with major industry to encourage investment and employment in the community.
  • Maintain the property tax rate for business and other (Class 6) at the current rate.
Policies
  • Supplement, where possible, revenues from user fees and charges to help to offset the burden on the entire property tax base as a result of the reduction in the tax rate to major industry (Class 4).
  • If a tax shift to other property classes is required as a result of the reduction in the tax rate to major industry (Class 4), Residential (Class 1) should be the first to absorb any such shifts.
  • Continue to maintain and encourage economic development initiatives designed to attract more retail and commercial businesses to invest in the community. New investment from these areas will help offset the reduction to major industry (Class 4) while providing more revenue for the Town.
  • Align the distribution of tax rates among the property classes with the social and economic goals of the community, particularly to encourage a range of employment opportunities.
  • Regularly review and compare the Town’s distributions of tax burden relative to other municipalities in British Columbia.
Table 2: Distribution of Property Tax Rates
Property Class% of Total Property TaxationDollar Value
Residential (1)54%$275,400
Utilities (2)3%$15,300
Social Housing (3)0%$0
Major Industrial (4)16.8%$85,680
Light Industrial (5)4%$20,400
Business and Other (6)21%$107,100
Recreation/Non-profit (8)1%$5,100
Farmland (9)0.2%$1,020
Total100%$510,000
 
Permissive Tax Exemptions
The Town has an existing permissive tax exemption policy which guides the administration and approval of permissive tax exemptions. Some of the eligibility criteria for permissive tax exemptions that are outlined in the policy include the following:
  • The tax exemption must demonstrate benefit to the community and residents of the Town by enhancing the quality of life (economically, socially and culturally) within the community.
  • The goals, policies and principles of the organization receiving the exemption must not be inconsistent or in conflict with those of the Town.
  • The organization receiving the exemption must be a registered non-profit society, as the support of the municipality will not be used for commercial and private gain.
  • Permissive tax exemptions will be considered in conjunction with: (a) other assistance being provided by the Town; (b) the potential demands for Town services or infrastructure arising from the property; and (c) the amount of revenue that the Town will lose if the exemption is granted.
Objective
  • The Town will continue to provide permissive tax exemptions to non-profit societies. Over the next three years, the Town will expand its offering of permissive tax exemptions to include revitalization tax exemptions targeted at green development for the purposes of encouraging development that will meet our Climate Action Charter commitments.
Policies
  • Expand the permissive tax exemption policy to include eligibility requirements for green revitalization tax exemptions.
  • Develop a revitalization tax exemption program which details the kinds of green activities that the exemption program will target.
  • Integrate the green revitalization tax exemption program into the Town’s existing economic initiatives as a means of attracting retail and commercial businesses to further invest to in the community.

Go to Circular No. 09:13 or return to Financial Circulars.
 

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