Property tax increase will be set at rate of inflation 

Residential property taxes are increasing at the rate of inflation, marking a 2.3 per cent increase over last year.

That means, residential property assessments which increased by 9 per cent (the municipal average) will see a corresponding 2.3 per cent increase on their tax bills.

On the other hand, single family homes, which saw assessments increase by 11.6 per cent on average, will see a higher municipal tax bill, roughly a 3.9 per cent increase.

The total tax bill increase however is still unknown. It will not be clear until the province releases its school tax rate for 2004.

Officials at the municipality are confident that Whistler residents will be able to get some school tax relief again this year, after the Residential Property Assistance Program was introduced in 2003.

In that program any full-time Whistler resident with a home valued at more than $525,000 and up to $2 million will get a Homeowners Grant of about $470.

As well, there is a basic rebate for homeowners based on a reduction of the school tax rate, which varies based on property value.

In total, taxpayers got back out $600,000 from the RPAP program last year.

At Monday’s council meeting after the Five Year Financial Plan was introduced to council, Councillor Nick Davies questioned property tax rates on commercial buildings.

The tax burden on commercial properties is about four times higher than on residential properties, he said and he asked when council was going to review this situation.

Administrator Jim Godfrey said a report is coming to council in the coming months that will analyze whether or not the municipality should reduce commercial property tax and what the implications would be.

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