Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) Mayor and Council have endorsed the guidelines for the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW)’s 2019 Budget.
Council has adopted:
- A 2.9 per cent increase to property taxes in 2019.
- A 2.0 per cent increase to sewer parcel taxes and user fees in 2019.
- A 3.6 per cent increase to solid waste parcel taxes and fees in 2019.
- The proposed project amounts totaling $41.1 million.
The guidelines will be used to draft the 2019–2023 Five-Year Financial Plan Bylaw, the RMOW’s annual budget document.
The increase to property taxes translates to approximately an additional $32 dollars this year for a property assessed at $1 million with an assessment that increased 16 per cent which is the average amount of similar properties. Properties that increased less than the average for similar properties may see a decrease in property takes paid.
“Whistler’s annual budget process allows us to look at our organization’s services, plans and priorities in a comprehensive way, incorporating public input, to determine how to best deliver services, programs and infrastructure,” said Mayor Jack Crompton. “Adopting the 2019 Budget Guidelines will allow us to continue to deliver those at a high level to meet current community needs while being fiscally responsible and anticipating future needs.”
Director of Finance Carlee Price shared in her presentation to Council on the Budget Guidelines that increases to the 2019 Budget are attributed to:
- A significant increase in transit hours to provide more transit service in Whistler year-round, including the new Route 10 Valley Express,
- Increased employment costs for the RMOW for the new employee health tax, employer contributions to Employment Insurance and Canadian Pension Plan and;
- Increased contributions to the RMOW’s budget reserve funds.
The 2019- 2023 Financial Plan includes 174 projects, a decrease from 185 in 2018. Total proposed budget cost in 2019 is $41.1 million. The following major projects account for more than half of the total project budget:
- Community Wildfire Protection and Fire Smart
- Water main upgrades
- Valley Trail expansions (Rainbow to Scotia Creek and Millar Creek to Function Junction)
- Roads and sidewalk upgrades (including Function Junction pedestrian pathway)
- MPSC Cardio room expansion
- Sewer lift system and sewer main improvements and repairs
- Two village washroom buildings and a washroom facility at Lost Lake
- New MPSC pool dehumidifier
- Fleet purchases (including a new fire truck and snow plows)
- Reservoir upgrades
- Recreation infrastructure replacements
Funding for projects comes from municipal reserves, the Province of British Columbia’s Resort Municipality Initiative grant, Municipal and Regional District Tax (hotel tax), and other sources such as grants. This means that project budgets do not directly impact current year revenue requirements.
Preparation of the 2019 budget is guided by the RMOW Corporate Plan and other municipal guiding documents; the leadership of the Audit and Finance Committee, staff and Council; direction provided throughout the year by committees of Council; feedback from the community through meetings, surveys, letters to Council and discussions; and thoughtful community planning and research.
The 2019–2023 Five-Year Financial Plan Bylaw will be brought forward for a first reading by Council at the regular Council meeting on March 26.
The tax rate bylaws will be brought forward for a first reading by Council on April 16. Property tax notices will be mailed out beginning in May.
Municipal property taxes are due on Tuesday, July 2. Property owners are encouraged to sign up to receive property tax notices by email and to review property tax information online with “MyWhistler.” Register for MyWhistler and find other online municipal services at whistler.ca/onlineservices. Whistler property owners whose property is their primary residence are reminded to apply for their Home Owner Grant.
Find more information about 2018 budget process at whistler.ca/budget.