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Dec 06, 2016 Return to Headlines

2017 Budget Balances Growth with Infrastructure Investment

by Heather Escaravage |

COQUITLAM, BC, Dec. 6, 2016 – Coquitlam’s 2017 budget balances community priorities with the need to protect existing infrastructure and keep costs down for residential and business taxpayers. 

On Monday, Dec. 5, City Council approved the first three readings of the 2017 Five-Year Financial Plan Bylaw, which will focus new spending on transportation, public safety and parks – the top priorities from public consultation this year – while continuing to invest in existing roads, buildings and other assets to extend their lifespan.

The 2017 budget also protects businesses, shifting one per cent of the commercial tax burden to residential properties to bring Coquitlam more in line with tax rate ratios in other cities. 

Even so, the 2.13 per cent property tax increase in 2017 will be the City’s smallest increase since 1994, and its eighth consecutive year of declining tax increases. 

For the average residential property owner, this will mean an extra $78 over 2016, including $46 for property taxes, $23 for sewer and drainage services, and $9 for waste services. Water utility rates remain at 2016 levels.

The 2017 budget is based on Council direction, a long-term City-wide perspective, and public consultation in 2016 that included a statistically-valid Ipsos Reid telephone survey, town hall meetings and an online budget survey. 

As in past years, public safety will be the highest spending priority in 2017, with $36 million for policing and $26 million for fire services.

The 2017 tax increase, along with a re-prioritization of existing spending, will pay for enhancements such as:

  • $630,000 for replacement of assets
  • $545,000 for enhanced services through Recreational, Parks & Culture Services
  • $880,000 for enhanced Public Works Services, Planning & Development Services, and Administrative Services
  • $134,000 for enhanced Fire & Rescue services
  • $347,000 for enhanced services provided by Coquitlam Public Library, Place des Arts, Evergreen Cultural Centre, Place Maillardville and the Coquitlam Heritage Society

Additional expenditures that will be funded by reserve funds without an impact on 2017 taxes will include:

  • $3 million for the Burquitlam Community Police Station
  • $3 million for an expansion of the Austin Works Yard
  • $1 million for replacement of assets

In terms of infrastructure, more than half of the five-year $306-million Capital Plan budget will be spent on transportation as well as parks and recreation – both high priorities for residents. Capital Plan highlights include:

  • $81 million for transportation, including road rehabilitation, enhancement and infrastructure management
  • $84 million for parks and recreation, including parkland purchases, facility upgrades, the YMCA and sports fields
  • $34 million in sewer and drainage works
  • $26 million for water system works, including extending capacity in northeast Coquitlam
  • Continued support for information technology and ongoing Community and Neighbourhood Plans

The 2017-2021 Five Year Financial Plan will receive Fourth and Final Reading at the Regular Meeting of Council on Dec. 12, 2016. Tax Rates Bylaw will be adopted in the spring of 2017, after the BC Assessment Authority provides information on property values. 

For more information on the 2017 Five Year Financial Plan, including a copy of Mayor Stewart’s introductory remarks, visit the Financial Plan webpage.

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Media contact:
Sheena MacLeod
General Manager, Financial Services
604-927-3031
smacleod@coquitlam.ca

 

Media Inquiries

Manager, Corporate Communications - Kathleen Vincent
Phone: 604-927-3019
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Email: media@coquitlam.ca