The RDCK has offices on Lakeside Drive and in two other smaller locations in Nelson. For this year the board has cut its projected expenditure on space planning that was intended to consolidate its office space. File photo

The RDCK has offices on Lakeside Drive and in two other smaller locations in Nelson. For this year the board has cut its projected expenditure on space planning that was intended to consolidate its office space. File photo

RDCK cuts proposed 2020 tax increase by half

Changes were prompted by COVID-19’s likely effect on West Kootenay economy

The Regional District of Central Kootenay has cut its planned tax increase in half because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The future economy is unknown,” said board chair Aimee Watson, “so we are doing our best to make sure essential services are maintained while reducing where we can.”

The planned increase would have seen an intake of $32 million in taxes compared with $29 million last year. Instead it will be about $30.5 million.

Because homeowners in the RDCK are taxed differently depending on where they live and on what services they receive, an overall tax increase is impossible to identify, but the average tax increase in the region will drop from about 10 per cent to about five per cent.

“Anything that was extra was cut for now,” Watson said. “The test will be what happens next year, because some of those things are actually essential, we have just moved them down the line to next year.”

At a meeting on March 19, the board put off $50,000 worth of office space planning for next year and delayed the hiring of a finance manager to the fall for a saving of $75,000 for this partial year.

They saved $80,000 by delaying the hiring of a purchasing agent to next year, reduced expenses for directors for travel to national and regional conferences by $42,000, and removed a $49,000 carry-over of directors’ previous year travel expenses.

The long list of additional reductions and adjustments included cuts to training budgets, delays to an upgrade to the website, reductions of planned contributions to a variety of reserve funds, and reduction of equipment and project budgets.

The board, after some debate, decided to continue work on developing a regional composting program.

“Some directors wanted to push it down the line,” Watson said, “but we have two-thirds of the grant funding already in the bank. We need to roll it out because that is a big project and might employ some contractors who have no work right now for the next six months.”

She said the task for the RDCK is to balance keeping the economy going, keeping workers safe and maintaining essential services.

Those essential services include fire halls, water systems, emergency services, garbage and recycling, search and rescue, and economic development along with the administrative costs of keep these things running.

Related: Draft 2020 RDCK budget shows 4% increase for Nelson residents



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

budgetCentral Kootenay Regional DistrictCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Members of the Nelson Nordic Ski Club show off their new snowcat. Photo: Submitted
Nelson Nordic Club celebrates new snowcat

A community fundraising effort led to the purchase

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
Kootenay-Columbia MP supports motion condemning Uighur genocide

Rob Morrison says labelling Uighur persecution as a genocide sends a message to Chinese government

The Skinny Genes Foundation is raising awareness and funds for a rare genetic disorder that claimed both his father and uncle.
NHL players, local businesses help Kootenay man raise funds and awareness for rare genetic disease

Signed NHL jerseys and local business donations up for auction in Skinny Genes Foundation fundraiser

An architectural design proposal from June, 2020, illustrates what a re-developed Hall Street Pier might look like. Illustration: City of Nelson
Nelson receives $1M grant for Hall St. Pier project

The design and extent of the project will be decided in the next few weeks

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Arrow Lakes Caribou Society said the new caribou pen near the Nakusp Hotsprings is close to completion. (Submitted)
Maternity caribou pen near Nakusp inches closer to fruition

While Nakusp recently approved the project’s lease, caribou captures are delayed due to COVID-19

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Most Read