Humboldt adopts 2% property tax increase

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Humboldt City Council has accepted a budget that will see an additional $ 143,000 in taxes next year, a 2% increase.

There will also be a 2% increase for utilities, which amounts to $ 82,000.

Last year’s tax increase was 2.5 percent, with no increase for utilities.

Joe Day, city manager of Humboldt, explained to council at the Dec. 6 budget meeting that the two 2% increases don’t mean a 4% increase, but essentially the city says a lot of the costs that the taxpayers will pay the city increased by two percent.

The monthly increase in the utility bill includes flat rate and consumption rates for water and sewer. There was no recommendation to increase infrastructure or road charges.

“One of the mandates we’ve had lately on the property tax side, if you’re going to zero percent you’re going to lose ground and you’ll have to catch up somewhere along the way because you’re good. below the rate of inflation, ”Day said. “We tried to maintain somewhere in the context of the consumer price index – inflation.”

Day said the administration is aware that the city’s per-cube water tariffs are “very high,” but the monthly fixed charges are lower than in neighboring municipalities.

“We have a lot of utilities that are basically subsidized by taxpayers, so if anything, we have to keep our tariffs on the utilities side so that we can eventually start saying all the revenue we brought in through the water and sewer rates actually cover our expenses.

At the current stage, Day said the city was unable to replace the water pipes and expand the lagoon with revenue from utilities alone, and that all the money that goes into the water service is spent on water service.

Michael Behiel, Mayor of Humboldt, called the budget “a testament to hard work and dedication to staff and administration.”

“I think this year with COVID the increase in the cost of living was around 2.2%, so we’re below inflation rates. It’s actually phenomenal, ”Behiel said.

“This clearly shows the hard work and dedication of our administration and staff who have gone out of their way to reduce all access and ensure that we are meeting our reserves, have proper five-year plans and thoughtful thinking. prospective. ”

Road capital projects funded in 2022 include the resurfacing of Route 5 and the rehabilitation of Route 20 from Second Avenue to First Avenue South.

For the Highway 20 reconstruction project between Second Avenue and First Avenue South, the city will receive funding of $ 472,000 through the Urban Highway Connector program. The city is funding the remaining $ 254,200.

Several sections of Highway 5 will be redone during the year with locations including East City Limits at 104th Street, Golf Course Road at Seventh Street, Ninth Street at 16th Street, 17th Street at West City Limits

For highway 5 pavement resurfacing, the city will receive $ 1.63 million in funding through the Urban Highway Connector program. The city will fund the remaining $ 934,000.

Public lighting capital projects funded in 2022 include street lighting from 8th Avenue from First Street to 17th Street and 8th Avenue from 17th Street to Peck Road. The hallway lighting improvements aim to illuminate the roadway at the recommended light levels. The administration noted that the amount in the budget is for if they receive a grant.

Funding of $ 234,500 is allocated to a project to improve the Eighth Avenue pedestrian corridor, thereby improving the pedestrian corridor of Highway 5 between Fourth Street and Peck Road. The work includes the installation of 430 meters of new sidewalk, 1,170 meters of new paved paths, 32 access ramps and the elimination of existing hazards and obstacles on existing sidewalks. The administration noted that funding is allocated if the city receives requested funding of $ 435,500.

A project to improve and add to the trail network connecting the campground to the Humboldt Golf Club received $ 30,000.

Humboldt’s administration fees were increased by $ 28,380 in the 2022 budget, bringing the new total to $ 683,780. This includes advertising, supplies, salaries, benefits, travel expenses, contract fleet, and utilities. The increase is in part due to an additional $ 8,870 due to increased Workers’ Compensation Board costs and an additional $ 8,730 for a summer student position.

Communications received an additional $ 66,390 for the creation of a communications assistant position.

RCMP policing costs increase by $ 71,970 for contracted RCMP services and $ 70,000 to reflect retroactive RCMP pay under the new collective agreement, bringing the RCMP’s salary up to city ​​to a total of $ 766,680.

In 2020 and 2021, the city did not take out new long-term loans. The Town of Humboldt has an approved debt limit of $ 15 million. The 2022 budget does not offer any new external loans, however, the administration noted in the budget that it is aware that the wastewater treatment project will force the city to incur new debt.

Total debt at the start of 2022 is $ 2.97 million. The administration’s estimates place the city’s share in the water treatment plant project at around $ 9.1 million, with the assumption that a long-term loan related to this project would be around. $ 7.5 million.

According to the consolidated statement of financial position as at December 31, 2020, the City had an accumulated surplus of $ 50.56 million.


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