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City draft budget has 4% tax increase, 7% for hydro

Residents of Grand Forks could have a property tax increase of 4 per cent this year.

City council approved the latest draft of the 2024 budget yesterday (Feb. 12) which includes a 4 per cent tax increase.

For a Grand Forks home assessed at $409,000 it would be an extra $52 this year.

The move would generate an additional $166,000 to pay for services.

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An increase of 7 per cent for electricity is also proposed. Grand Forks buys electricity in bulk from FortisBC and resells it to local customers.

The basic residential fee would jump $3 to $44.04 bi-monthly and usage rates would increase by just under a cent per kilowatt hour to 14.1 cents. For commercial properties, the basic fee would increase approximately $3 to $47.64 and usage rates would go from 14.1 to 15.1 cents per kilowatt hour.

“At 7.0% (increase), City residents will still pay less than Fortis customers, with the only exception being the commercial usage rate,” states a report on the budget.

Five per cent increases are slated for water and sewer bills as the city says the department “struggles to stay profitable.”

Even with the hikes, the city notes it will have to take money from reserves in order to balance the $15 million operating and $20 million capital budget.

A presentation of the updated budget is expected Thursday (Feb. 15) during a special council meeting.

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