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New Nelson budget to include 4.8% municipal tax increase

In addition, residents will be charged taxes from regional hospital, schools, and RDCK
The City of Nelson’s proposed 2024 budget is nearing its final vote. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Nelson residents will see their municipal taxes and fees increased overall by 4.8 per cent for 2024, according to city council’s latest budget proposal that it will vote on in the coming weeks.

This increase reflects a 5.3 per cent increase in property taxes, based on an average home value of $665,000. It also includes fee increases of 2.5 per cent for water rates, a 1.9 per cent increase in sewer rates, and a 25 per cent increase in garbage rates, all of which are billed annually and are separate from property taxes.

These proposed increases amount to an increase for the average homeowner of $152 per year, according to the city’s chief financial officer Chris Jury, who outlined the proposed figures at city council’s March 19 meeting.

The large increase in waste fees for residents comes from the cost of the roll-out of the organics collection system and from a 10 per cent increase in tipping fees — the fee charged to the city by the Regional District of Central Kootenay at its transfer stations and landfills.


For Nelson businesses, Jury said the increase for an average business will amount to 4.27 per cent or about $441 per year.


Taxes levied by the Regional District of Central Kootenay, the Ministry of Education, and the West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District will also be added to the bill for Nelson residents.

The RDCK taxes Nelson residents to pay for some of its services that city residents use, most notably waste collection (running the regional landfills and transfer stations) and the Nelson and District Community Complex.

This year, based on an average home valued at $670,000, Nelson residents will pay approximately $830 towards the RDCK portion of their property tax bill. This is a 4.6 per cent increase over last year.

“The RDCK increase is largely driven by continuing inflationary pressure, increased debt servicing costs and recreation facility hours and programs expanding to pre-pandemic levels,” said the RDCK’s chief financial officer Yev Malloff in an email.

For the West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District, there will be a two per cent increase over last year, and Nelson homeowners will be charged approximately $106.

Public participation

This year the City of Nelson tried a different method of getting public feedback on the draft budget.

They scrapped the usual public meeting and open house, which in past years has attracted hardly more than two members of the public (always far fewer than city staff members). Instead they opted for an invitation to comment online.

The invitation was sent out by mail with the 4,500 annual water and sewer bills and on Instagram and Facebook. It contained a link to a page on the city website that contained graphics about the budget.

Deputy chief financial officer Aimee Mooney told council that the site received 547 views from 331 users, who downloaded 207 documents. Sixty people (about 1.3 per cent) responded by email.

The main concerns of the responders, Mooney said, were protective services (police and fire), affordable housing, active transportation (biking and walking), the high cost of living and wildfire mitigation.

Budget highlights

Jury listed a number of highlights of the budget including:Two additional officers for the police department

Next generation 911 (new protocols and technology for 911 calls)

Firehall replacement planning

Civic Centre revitalization

Completion of Hall Street Pier

Organics diversion program expansion

New transit exchange

Increased capital reserves

Upgraded Mill Street hydro substation

Liquid waste management plan

Bill Metcalfe

About the Author: Bill Metcalfe

I have lived in Nelson since 1994 and worked as a reporter at the Nelson Star since 2015.
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