Change to Financial Plan and Tax Rates Bylaws
On May 14, 2013, the City of Port Coquitlam amended the 2013-2017 Financial Plan and 2013 Tax Rates bylaws to reflect a $442,000 reduction in the transfer to the Infrastructure Replacement Reserve Fund for 2013.
The amendment follows the discovery of a manual data-entry error prior to formal adoption of the Tax Rates bylaw.
Since 2010, the City has set aside funds each year in an Infrastructure Replacement Reserve Fund intended to pay for the future replacement of aging infrastructure such as buildings and roads.
Due to a manual data-entry error, an additional $442,000 was added to the reserve fund in 2012 and in 2013. The error was discovered in spring 2013 during a comprehensive year-end review and preparation for the 2014 Financial Plan.
Addressing the problem
To address the error for 2013, the City will rescind the previous Financial Plan and Tax Rates bylaws and introduce amended bylaws. City Council gave the amended bylaws third reading at the regular Council meeting on May 13, 2013 and adopted the bylaws at a special meeting on May 14, ensuring the City meets the May 15 deadline for filing the budget.
The $442,000 duplication in 2012 is part of the 2012 year-end surplus. On May 21, 2013, Council allocated a portion of the surplus to various one-time expenditures at a Finance & Intergovernmental Committee meeting.
The City is introducing new software this year that will automate data-entry processes and significantly reduce the likelihood of future manual entry errors.
Impact on property owners
As a result of the amended bylaws, the increase for 2013 property taxes will be 2.84%, rather than 3.7%. For the average single-family home, this will be a reduction of $16.51.
The 2013 tax bills reflecting the revised amount will be mailed out on time to Port Coquitlam properties.