RDN taxes up $2 per $100,000 assessed value for 2017

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, June 27 2017

Regional District of Nanaimo taxes have gone up 9.7 per cent this year. About $2 per $100,000 of assessed value.

So an increase of $8 for households assessed at $400,000.

Howard Houle, Regional Director for RDN Electoral Area B, said the two key services which have caused that increase were the GERTIE Community Bus service; and the acquisition of the RDN park on the north end of Mudge Island.

This was the first full fiscal year GERTIE received funding through the RDN.

The new park on Mudge is a short-term loan, and will be on the tax roll for another four years before being paid off and disappearing.

Houle said, “We’re absolutely getting good value for our dollar for what we’re getting.

“We’re doing lots over here.”

Along with the continued work on improving Gabriola’s parks - tot lot construction and skatepark design for Huxley are still slated for completion this year - Electoral Area B is directly funding an economic development and tourism strategic plan as contracted to the Gabriola Chamber of Commerce.

Houle said, “We’re working back and forth with the Chamber to get a plan the community can benefit from.”

He said RDN taxpayers are not included in the increase in taxes for solid waste removal as seen in the City of Nanaimo.

The City will see a 66 per cent increase in solid waste collection fees.

Houle said the RDN, including Gabriola, is a separate system from the City.

“Although we share the same landfill, they look after their own business and the huge increase in taxes is their move to an automated system.”

He said the RDN is not currently exploring automation of waste collection.

Community and Regional Parks make up the largest portion of Area B’s RDN taxes, at 28 per cent. Recreation and Culture, administered through the Gabriola Recreation Society, make up the second largest portion at 18 per cent. Area B’s contribution to the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) makes up an equal 18 per cent of the Area B tax requisition.

Transit - for Area B that’s GERTIE - makes up 11 per cent.

The remainder of Area B taxes go into Public Safety & Emergency Services (nine per cent); Community & Regional Development (eight per cent); Administration and Regional Grant Services (six per cent); and Solid Waste Management (two per cent).