Residents of Coquitlam are looking at a 3.49 percent tax hike in 2011. This means the average homeowner will pay $53 more for the year. Business owners will get a 2.74 percent increase since Coquitlam recently lessened the amount industrial and commercial owners had to pay. Less business tax hopefully will attract more business.
Add to those tax increases another $24 for recycling and garbage services, $15 for sewage and an additional $25 for water services and the average homeowners bill goes up $117. This means an average home valued at $490,000 would pay roughly $2,679.
Not everyone was happy with the budget, which included a provision to put $1.2 million dollars less in the reserve fund and another to cut city spending by $1.6 million. Some suspect this was done to keep prospective voters happy for the next election, coming sometime next year.
Coun. Barrie Lynch was concerned the city is not maintaining enough of a reserve fund which may be needed to replace the civic facility in the near future. Coun. Lou Sekora had similar views and also wanted council to use a zero based budget, which would more effectively cut out excess spending. He was also critical of the city’s reliance on casino money to pay for projects. Some of the cuts included adding just one firefighter instead of the five needed and four additional Mounties when the request was for six.