Taxes Taxes Taxes

Taxes Taxes Taxes

I used a fancy new AI program to come up with this graphic. I entered the words “humorous funny hilarious property tax graphic” – there was nothing funny about any of the images it produced. Hmm…

Every year, we pay taxes. It’s a bit frustrating, and even after all these years of paying them, it still feels like I’m not getting what I’m paying for. We’ve just gone through the painful process of the CSRD budget, and, well, looks like property taxes are going up again. Our properties are more valuable, although with interest rates where they are, it seems property sales are slowing and a price correction may be in store. And the value of the services that we all pay for are more expensive.

We all know that inflation last year was high. The BC Consumer Price Index says that overall prices rose 6.9% in 2022. That may be the case, but it seems like things went up more than that. And looking at a breakdown of various categories it seems like all the things we use most, have gone up more than that. There’s a breakdown of BC inflation for various goods here

Some of the highlights are: Food up 8%, Transportation up 10.2%, Alcohol cheap at just a 6.2% increase, Gasoline up 27.4% ouch. If you’re into Clothing and Footwear you win big with just a 0.2% increase. I wish I could eat shoes or stick my stinky socks in the gas tank.

Where I’m going here is that local government is not immune from these price increases. The CSRD has a fleet of trucks and cars that drink gas, staff that get annual pay increases, electricity, etc. You name it, we got it. So, unfortunately, taxes are increasing too.

So, you’re now asking yourself, How Much??  I can’t say. It all depends. Don’t really know.

What I do know is that the CSRD is only a portion of your property tax bill. I reviewed my 2022 tax bill today and looked at the breakdown of where the money goes. On my tax bill, and probably yours too, the School taxes are the highest at 44% of the total tax request. Next is the CSRD at 42%, then the Hospital District/Library/BC Assessment/etc. at about 11%, and a Provincial Rural Tax at 3.5%. I had to look up this Provincial Rural Tax and it seems it’s for provincial services in rural areas mainly maintenance and snow removal for secondary roads, like that’s doing us much good.

Ok, I haven’t told you anything yet, just prepared you for the bad news. Taxes are going up! Hmm, I think I already mentioned that. Remember that we added a new service this year – the North Shuswap Health Centre. And Mosquito Control is back in place in Scotch Creek. We didn’t pay for these things last year.

Ok, Ok. You’re getting tired of reading this. I’m tired of writing it. So, here it is. The average household in the North Shuswap will have a tax increase in the CSRD portion of their bill of…   $43.24. Yup, there it is, $43.24. I said it. That is what an average house, valued at $515,569, will pay more than last year in CSRD taxes. I just checked at the Scotch Creek Market and that’s about the cost of a case of my favourite beer.

Those other things I mentioned above, schools, hospitals, library etc. etc. will have their own increases. I’ve no idea what they’ll be doing. Maybe even reducing their tax needs? Unlikely.

But look at the bright side, Summer is almost here!

If you’re interested, the CSRD has put out an information pamphlet explaining the Area F (North Shuswap) taxes.

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4 thoughts on “Taxes Taxes Taxes

  1. I generally expect that taxes will rise in step with inflation and the need for services in the North Shuswap. It is compounded by property assessments (upon which any increase is based) are influenced by many subjective criteria, which is another story altogether.

    Where does the money go? Does all of it stay in the North Shuswap ? I suspect not.

    As you have espoused for years, we need a doctor in North Shuswap. It was nice to have Dr. Bucarelli for just over a year, which helped immensely. I understand that we could have another one, if only their licence would be approved. With aging parents needing to visit Kamloops Hostpital for treatments twice a week and limited local resources to mitigate travel expenses, I might suggest that North Shuswapians would save if our tax money was directed to more local resources. I use medical as an example. It is a valiant and worthwhile effort, but not yet complete through no fault of our own.

    I understand that Scotch Creek is the gateway to the North Shuswap, so if tax money could be spent to improve services that those all across the North Shuswap need, I’m sure we’d all benefit. Its an age old conundrum: services and infrastructure will come if there are people, yet you need people in place to cause services and infrastructure to be put in place.

    and what about a high school?

    In my view, the basics of life: medical, schools, roads, utilities (water and sewage), addressing the shortage of affordable housing, and healthy living alternatives like pathways, parks & recreation need to be cemented in place to begin the cycle of getting value for tax money.

    I love it here. Once of the nicest places I have lived. Taxes need to help make it better.

    1. Good comment, thanks. Getting value for tax money is the goal. Your comment regarding the basics of life is on track, but taxes are the only way we accomplish those goals, you have to look at ‘getting value for tax money’ while we’re putting those in place. We need to think about tomorrow or next year, but also plan for North Shuswap 2040.

  2. Sorry Jay, taxes do not increase because property assessments increase. Taxes increase because government spends more money. The job of our politicians should be to insure we are getting bang for our buck. Are all these ‘services’ necessary and cost efficient? Are there ‘luxuries’ in our system that we can do without? I hate hearing CSRD Board members say ‘the Province isn’t taking care of things’ .This was said in reference to why CSRD needs to repeat services that should be Provincial responsibility – SWC, Healthcare, etc. These are our tax dollars paying for both.

    Increased property assessments do not mean people have more money to pay taxes. That only happens if they sell or reverse mortgage their homes. I know the usual way of explaining tax increases is to quote the increase for the ‘average property’ and you did quote the assessment that was attached to the $43 but it is more accurate to explain the range of tax increases for property in the North Shuswap. A $43 tax increase may mean some families need to decide not to buy a new pair of shoes for their child or cut back on a little luxury like a movie night.

    Increased taxes affect renters as well as owners. The CSRD looking into a solution for affordable housing by allowing habitation of accessory buildings seems like a good idea but only if all the impacts are considered. Will the septic systems have to be upgraded? Will short term rentals be allowed or will they need to get a TUPS? Will the impact on all services be considered – I am thinking of BC Ambulance and Police, Fire but I am sure there are others. How will all this affect our property taxes? Will we all need an accessory building to afford our taxes?

    You have a very important job for our community and we appreciate you taking this on but please do not take it too lightly. My suggestion; I don’t think the case of beer analogy was a good one. Better to not say anything…people know what $43 means to them.

    Thank you for listening.

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