Humboldt City Council passed a bylaw allowing the proposed 5.1 percent tax increase on properties to go through. The decision was made at the regular monthly meeting of City Council on Tuesday night. At previous meetings, the City administration and Council worked to mitigate what might have been a larger increase, given demands of inflation and costs of needed infrastructure work. By reworking its budget, the City settled on the 5.1 percent increase to meet its expected costs for the year. 

At the meeting, City Manager Joe Day explained to Council that there were several ways to approach the increase for residential and commercial ratepayers. 

“Administration considered options for Council that varied from increasing the base taxes exclusively, increasing the mill rate exclusively, or some combination of the two,” Day explained. “In the end, the recommendation to Council is to increase the mill rate by an amount to generate the 5.1 percent increase in overall taxation.”

As a result, the Uniform Mill Rate would see an increase from the 2022 value of 8.970 to a rate of 9.606 for 2023. The majority of other components in the 2023 taxation bylaw would remain the same as in the previous year. One notable change is the application of the road and infrastructure base tax to vacant residential lots. The decision was made to ensure consistency in tax application and to encourage property owners to proceed with development on those lots, said Day. 

There have been no changes to the Education mill rate, set by the province to fund public schools. Day noted that with the blend of the mill rates, while the City would derive an additional 5.1 percent from its increase, property owners should, in reality, see an approximate 3.5 percent increase to their property taxes. 

The recommendation report on the 2023 Tax Bylaw was received by Council and was given three readings at the meeting. The bylaw passed unanimously.