Have Your Say on Port Coquitlam’s Budget Until Jan. 15
Port Coquitlam residents have until Jan. 15 to provide feedback to a 2022 draft budget that aims to protect taxpayers from rising costs while funding important services and projects that support community resilience.
The City is mailing out its Budget at a Glance this week and collecting feedback over the next month at portcoquitlam.ca/2022budget on a $119-million 2022 operating budget affected by a number of non-discretionary costs, including RCMP, labour, regional water and sewer and pandemic impacts. Council has limited new enhancements to reduce the tax impact, resulting in a proposed increase of $56.15 (2.81 percent) for internal services and $30.52 (1.53 percent) for the federally-directed RCMP settlement for the average home assessed at $781,522.
“Our 2022 budget builds on the responsible and focused approach that Port Coquitlam has become known for,” Mayor Brad West said. “It continues to prioritize getting the basics right by investing in core municipal services while also supporting a number of community priorities such as public safety, transportation and infrastructure improvements, downtown revitalization, and climate change adaptation. All of this is delivered while also maintaining one of the lowest average property tax rates in the entire Metro Vancouver area.”
Port Coquitlam has an established track record of lower-than-average property taxes and utilities when compared to other municipalities in Metro Vancouver. Over the last five years, for example, taxes in Port Coquitlam have risen 5.8 percent compared to 15 per cent across Metro Vancouver. In 2021, Port Coquitlam had the third-lowest tax and utility rates across the region.
Budgeted services and activities for 2022 will include:
- Operation of the newly completed Port Coquitlam Community Centre,
- A new climate change adaptation strategy,
- Additional holiday recycling pickup,
- Completion of a new Master Transportation Plan,
- Continued work with the PoCo Events Society on future festivals and events, and
- Continuing to advocate for the extension of SkyTrain to Port Coquitlam.
Similar to past years, the draft budget also plans for an infrastructure levy, the equivalent of one percent of the tax increase, to support future infrastructure replacement. The budget will also continue to provide the enhanced levels of service approved in prior budgets for services such as snow removal, litter pickup and field and park maintenance.
In addition, projects from the $50-million 2022-2023 Capital Plan rolling out in 2022 will include:
- The start of the redevelopment of the Civic Centre in downtown Port Coquitlam, including Veterans Park and Leigh Square.
- Almost $17 million in road paving and utility replacement and upgrades, and improvements along Kingsway Avenue from Tyner to Coast Meridian,
- $1.84 million in upgrades to parks, sport fields and sport courts, and
- Various active transportation improvements including 2.5 kilometres of new sidewalk and multi-use paths, upgrades to trail network and signage, replacement of the McAllister pedestrian bridge, new streetlights and a considerable number of traffic calming, sidewalk and pedestrian safety improvements.
“Our responsible, prudent budget approach is particularly important in a year when we face many costs beyond the City’s control,” said Cllr. Dean Washington, Council’s designate for budget matters. “We’re holding the line on many services and focusing our investments where they matter most. We look forward to hearing the community’s feedback by Jan. 15.”
In terms of impact on taxpayers, property assessments – arriving from the British Columbia Assessment Authority in early January – will play a key role in the final tax bill. Properties whose value has risen more or less than other typical properties of the same type will experience a tax rate that differs from the average.
Budget details and input opportunities are posted at portcoquitlam.ca/2022budget.
Manager of Communications & Administrative Services
City of Port Coquitlam