One more chance for North Cowichan residents to provide input on proposed tax shift

North Cowichan council will discuss a potential tax shift of up to $350 to average residential home Monday at 6 p.m.

North Cowichan residents have one more chance to tell council what they think of a proposed tax shift of up to $350 to the average residential home this Monday.

North Cowichan council is holding a committee of the whole meeting Mon., April 2 at 6 p.m. at the municipal hall to discuss the issue, and members of the public are invited to attend to provide input to council.

Council is concerned that one taxpayer, — Catalyst paper company, under creditor protection — is responsible for 26 per cent of all property taxes collected by the municipality, according to a media release. To reduce this reliance and minimize financial risk to the municipality, council was considering a shift in property taxes from Class 4 (Major Industry) to Class 1 (Residential) of up to $350 per average home.

During a committee of the whole meeting March 26, council reviewed the anticipated 3.85-per-cent increase in general municipal taxes and an incremental tax shift of between $300 and $350 per average residential home. At this meeting, council discussed its goals for a tax rate structure and distribution that establishes a competitive tax rate structure, reduces reliance on major industry to minimize financial risk, increases competitiveness of industry and business in North Cowichan, ensures there are reserve balances sufficient to absorb any tax losses, and reduces reliance on debt to finance capital projects, according to a press release from the municipality.