Property Tax Q&A's

2020-2024 Provisional Financial Plan Quick Facts (pdf)

2020-2024 Draft Financial Plan (pdf)

Why doesn’t the City of Nanaimo tie tax increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the rate of inflation? 

The CPI measures the change in a specific group of goods and services over time. However, municipalities purchase a significantly different range of goods and services than the average Canadian consumer; this means the CPI is not an adequate measure of the inflationary pressures municipalities face. Canada currently does not have a Municipal Price Index (MPI) to measure the effects of inflation for providing municipal services. 

If CPI was applied to the City’s budget, it could result in insufficient budgets to maintain existing levels of services or allow for enhancements to service levels. That said, the City of Nanaimo, does apply the inflation rate to goods and services when better estimates are not available during the budget planning process. 

What are residents getting as part of the 5.2% tax increase in 2020? 

The provisional plan includes a number of initiatives to support our Council priorities and enhance service levels:

Investing in Our Community: through funding for new amenities including construction of the Harewood Youth Park, the multi-year replacement project for Fire Station #1 and the Metral Drive Complete Street project.

Enhancing Public and Community Safety: with the addition of three RCMP officers (15 over the next five years) and two Prisoner Guards; an increase to the Bylaw Enforcement Officer schedule from 35 hours to 40 hours per week and an additional $50,000 funding toward victims services.

Strengthening Nanaimo’s Economy: through the implementation of an external Economic Development function and with the addition of a Manager of Economic Development Services.

Supporting Good Governance and Effective Service Delivery: with the addition of a General Manager of Corporate Services, Deputy City Clerk, Urban Forestry Technician, Traffic Signal Technician and Director of IT.

What’s the tax and user fee breakdown? 

As a City Council, we are responsible for an operating budget of $200 million and giving direction to staff to ensure the $3 billion in infrastructure assets such as roads, water mains, facilities, drainage, parks and the sewer system, is maintained.

During our meeting on December 16, 2019, we set the 2020 water, sewer and garbage collection rates to support long-term asset management requirements as outlined in the City's 2020-2024 Financial Plan. 

Revenues collected through these increases assist the City in paying for costs incurred during the long-term replacement of fixed assets, including water supply and distribution and sanitary sewer assets.

Highlights of the provisional plan include projected increases in:

  • Property tax of 5.2%, equivalent to $109 for a typical household with an assessed value of $516,418
  • Water user fees of 7.5%, equivalent to $42
  • Sewer user fees of 4.0%, equivalent to $6
  • Solid waste user fees of 0.6%, equivalent to $1

This equals to an annual increase of $158 or roughly $13 per month in taxes and fees for a typical household.

The provisional plan also incorporates investments into the community, public safety, economic development, good governance and effective service delivery. Some highlights include:

  • $19 million in funding over the next five years for pedestrian and cycling safety improvements.
  • Funding to support Council's priorities including a review of the Official Community Plan, update to Nanaimo's Community Sustainability Action Plan and a water course restoration and enhancement project.
  • Funding for new amenities including construction of the Harewood Youth Park, the replacement of Fire Station #1 and the Metral Drive Complete Street project.

What is the relationship between my property assessment from BC Assessment and my property tax bill?

A significant increase in your assessment does not necessarily mean a significant increase in your property taxes.The important factor is how your assessed value changed relative to the average change for your property class.

For example:

  • If a single family residence in the City of Nanaimo went up average of 10.53% for market change.
  • If your property increased in value greater than the market change of 10.53%, you will likely see an increase in your municipal taxes of greater than 5.2%
  • If you property increased in value was equal to the market change of 10.53% than you municipal taxes will likely increase at the average for 2019 of 5.2%
  • If your property increased in value less than the market change of 10.53% you will likely see an increase in your municipal taxes of less than 5.2%

Last updated: January 24, 2020

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