Planning is underway for the 2021 annual Terrace budget

Hillary Johnson

Planning for the 2021 annual Terrace budget is underway. At a recent committee of the whole, the draft budget was discussed, calling for a 7 percent increase in property taxes. The city had reduced a planned 7.4 percent tax increase in 2020 down to 4.5 percent in response to economic upheaval caused by the pandemic.

The 2021 tax increase would cover increased city operating costs and services such as an additional RCMP member and two new positions in the public works and engineering departments. A 2.7 million dollar COVID Safe Restart grant, provided by the provincial government last month, as well as 13 million dollars in its Northern Capital and Planning Grant reserve, were also discussed to determine their allocation.

The COVID Safe Restart grant is eligible to be used to cover things like revenue shortfalls, facility reopening, operating costs, social services, emergency planning and equipment purchases. That breaks down to $300,000 for operating cost shortfalls, $130,000 for IT server hardware and software and $262,500 to cover the closure of the cities landfill. The remaining 1.9 million is to be held in reserve for use in the coming years.

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