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Pemberton taxes up five per cent

Water, sewer rates also going up

By Cindy Filipenko

The Village of Pemberton’s 2007 provisional budget suggests that life for residents is not going to get cheaper anytime soon.

While the assessed value of the average singe-family home has risen one per cent, homeowners will be seeing an increase of five per cent on their municipal tax bill. This increase also applies to commercial property, despite assessments for business properties realizing an average increase of 11 per cent.

The VOP’s tax base is comprised of 955 residences and 258 businesses. The current mill rate for taxation of commercial properties in Pemberton is 2.45 times that of residential rates.

The five per cent increase will allow the VOP to create a surplus of   $65,000. Currently there is no surplus and the village’s borrowing capacity has been maximized

“In the past we haven’t had any reserves. We need to have more money on hand. Five per cent seems like a reasonable amount to get the village in a better financial standing,” said Nikki Gilmore, the VOP’s treasurer-collector.

Servicing the existing debt load will cost the village more than $24,000 or 1 per cent of its overall budget. Without the majority of its equipment leased, the VOP also has limited assets at this time. The development of a surplus was outlined as a goal for 2007 in the VOP’s five-year financial plan. Terms of reference for utilizing the new fund will be in place before the fund is utilized.

Gilmore says that the five per cent tax increase will mean an average of an additional $24 for residences and $75 for business.

“Of course, if you have a $1.8 million assessment that’s increased you could be facing up to an increase of $1,000, but that would be a business,” said Gilmore.

Taxation notices are due to go out in mid-May. In the meantime, homeowners will be getting a bill for water and sewer within the next few weeks. A three per cent increase for water and sewer will mean an increase of about $10 per single-family residence.

Many communities add water and sewer to their tax bills, but Pemberton separates the two items to better facilitate cash flow, explained VOP deputy clerk Sheena Fraser.

“It allows us to get an infusion of revenue earlier in the year,” said Fraser.

The rate increase for water and sewer will receive final reading at the VOP’s Feb. 6 meeting.