Region districy

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The Strathcona Regional District, which Campbell River property owners pay into, is increasing taxes by 14.4 per cent for Campbell River taxpayers.

That’s on top of the 2.45 per cent ($37 for the average home) tax hike that the city has approved for 2016.

While the regional district tax increase is not yet final (its budget isn’t expected to be finalized until March), it’s currently sitting at a $31.23 increase for the average assessed home which would equate to $248.66 owing in property taxes for 2016.

The regional district has also set estimated 2016 tax rates for the other municipalities and electoral areas within the district.

In Gold River, taxes are expected to go up by 44.2 per cent to $23.04 in total property taxes for the average assessed home while in Sayward, a tax hike of 49.6 per cent to $28.98 is proposed.

Tahsis is looking at a 22.0 per cent increase to $13.46 and Zeballos is expected to have an increase of 38.2 per cent to $16.79 in total property taxes for the average home.

Meanwhile, for the regional district’s electoral areas, the Kyuquot/Nootka portion of Area A is expected to see a tax increase of 22.8 per cent to $92.80 in property taxes while the Sayward part of Area A is looking at a 21.7 per cent increase to $485.60 (the area pays for a fire protection service).

Area B (Cortes Island) is expected to see a 3.4 per cent tax increase, to $711.38 in taxes for the average home, while Area C (Quadra Island and Discovery Islands) will likely see a 9.5 per cent jump to $373.58 for the average home.

And Area D (just south of the city) is expected to have a tax increase of 10.6 per cent to $1,570.96 in property taxes for the average assessed home.

At the regional district’s board meeting on Jan. 28, directors approved several new items to be included in its financial plan for 2016.

The board approved $30,000 to replace the organization’s corporate office switchboard phone system which staff describes as “likely to fail in the near future.”

Directors also supported a $25,000 increase in the 2016 budget for a human resource function, but only on the condition that the regional district’s new chief administrative officer (CAO), David Leitch, prepares a human resource plan for approval.

Dawn Christenson, the regional district’s financial services manager, said the rationale behind the position is to take the burden off the CAO and management team which are currently responsible for any human resources issues.

“Without strong foundational policies, expertise or guidelines in place, this approach is somewhat uncoordinated, reactionary and potentially inconsistent, giving rise to organizational risk,” Christenson said.

The board also committed to spending $14,600 to develop and implement a comprehensive records management system, as well as $10,000 for a speaker queue system and network clocks.

The speaker system will allow directors to add themselves to a speaker list during meetings – an easier and more effective way to ensure elected officials all have the opportunity to engage in debate.

The digital network clocks will align all the clocks in the regional district’s corporate office with the time that network computers display, to make them more reliable and to help with the timing of functions.

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