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Regional District of East Kootenay Approves 5-Year Financial Plan

The Regional District of East Kootenay has adopted its Financial Plan for the years 2012-2016.

The 2012 budget is $29.7 million, which represents an overall decrease of 5.8% from last year. This includes a number of items that are specific to certain service areas. When those items are set aside, the 2012 operating budget for services shared by most municipalities and electoral areas in the region, represents a 5.4% increase from 2011. “We are committed to maintain or improve our service levels and programs while keeping any tax increases to a minimum. The Board and staff have worked hard to achieve that balance this year and I’m pleased with the budget we’ve adopted,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.

It is important to understand that there is a difference between the numbers in the budget and the effect those numbers will have on individual tax rates. Residents of the RDEK will be affected differently, depending on the municipality or electoral area in which they live. On average, rural residential properties in the RDEK will see approximately a 1% overall increase in their tax levy.

“Unlike a municipality that has one boundary and one set of taxpayers, different areas of the RDEK require different services and these are paid for only by the taxpayers of each specific service area,” explains Gay. “In addition, even though there may be increases in the requisition amount, new development in parts of the region will offset some of that impact on taxpayers.”

Tax calculations are expected to be complete by early-April when 2012 revised assessed values are available.

Highlights in the 2012 budget include new cell excavations at the Central Subregion Landfill, addressing confined space issues at Wycliffe Regional Park, replacement of the bleachers at the Wycliffe Exhibition Grounds, Boiler Room upgrades at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena, and a $130,000 grant to the Cranbrook Homeless Shelter.

The 5-Year Plan for 2012-2016 was formally adopted by the RDEK Board today.

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