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Winter Games Bill Not Paid Off Yet

Saturday, March 14, 2015 @ 4:09 AM
250 News archive

250 News archive

Prince George, B.C. – The 2015 Canada Winter Games may have come and gone but the taxpayers of Prince George are not done paying for the cost of hosting the event just yet.

Kris Dalio, Deputy Financial Officer with the City, says money for the Games is still being collected through the 2015 tax levy and the bylaw (#8339) which established the reserve fund for the Games and spells out how money in that reserve can be spent remains in effect.  Dalio says “that bylaw is in existence until the reserve is closed out and so, same as the Charter says how we can establish a bylaw, the Charter also says if the reserve fund is no longer needed we can, by bylaw, transfer it to another reserve fund, whatever balance is left.”

Dalio says “as far as the tax levy going forward, a 2011 report to Council had this schedule of collection for the levy and its last scheduled year of collection for the Canada Winter Games is this year, 2015.  We’ll collect the 2015 taxes, most of them get collected between May and June, and that money gets put into the reserve and is still funding capital projects that have happened.”

Dalio says the February 2011 report contained funding options for the Games’ capital costs.  “The one that they (council) chose, it was indeed a 2% increase at the time to the tax levy, and the grand total amount of money that was to be raised from the levy is $9.6 million and change.  There were grants available from the feds and the province and the actual total capital work was $17.4 million.”  Dalio says “including the 2015 levy collection the $9.6 million will be reached” by the end of this year.

Does Council then decide what happens to that levy?  “Absolutely”, says Dalio, “the schedule is that 2015 is the last collection of that levy.”  City Council will decide during budget deliberations next fall whether the levy goes away, as was the plan of the council of the day in 2011, or what else might happen with it.

City of Prince George Bylaw No. 8339 states “Funds deposited in the reserve and interest earned thereon may be used only for the purpose of paying for capital costs related to the 2015 Canada Winter Games Facility Improvements.”

Comments

I have been saying all along that we the tax payers were going to be hit with at bill… all you poo poers how do you feel now?

Gee whiz–why is this not surprising at all. Before any big plans like this again, how about a referendum–to see if the taxpayers want it. Most wouldn’t, we’d want better roads first.

This is not news, it is on schedule following the plan that has been in place all along. But nice that bcr still has one little reason to get out of bed in the morning and whine about the games. If the levy is continued in any fashion it won’t be for paying for the games.

No news here!

Considering that the levy was put in to pay for the games, then it should obviously follow that after the final payment in 2015, that the levy is cancelled, and there is a corresponding reduction in taxes.

Lets keep in mind that this levy was paid for by homeowners and has been on their tax bills for the past four years as a single line item tax for the Winter Games.

Why should homeowners continue to pay this tax, while business, and non home owners don’t.

I think from a political point of view and to show some honesty and integrity in the political system in Prince George, this levy had better be removed, and not used for other purposes.

When have city taxes ever decreased?

Were did you think the money was going to come from for all these substantial wage increases and poor planning of infrastructure.

well at least they donated 3 medals towards the legacy….

The city council will decide if the levy to pay the winter games will go away. Well if the levy doesn’t then every council member and the mayor should be kicked off council.

I agree with P Val. This tax was put in for a specific purpose, and has served its purpose. It now needs to be taken out. If not then a number of things come into play.

1. If we cannot trust our Politicians, then lets see what happens the next time they want a specific tax for a specific reason.

2. If we cannot trust our Politicians, to do what they said they would do. (No hiding behind the fact the decision to get rid of the tax was made by a previous Council) then it is our duty to throw them the hell out of office. We have had enough of the less than honest antics at City Hall.

We have basically come to the end of the era of continuous tax increases.
The challenge for Council these days is to do the same, or more, with the same or less dollars.

Continuous raises in salaries and benefits for the same or less work, is no longer acceptable. Time to get some bang for our buck.

We should all remember that income tax was also introduced as temporary tax.

For all the taxpayers who were not invited to an “appreciation dinner” re: CWG volunteers; the mayor and council should also have an “appreciation dinner” for taxpayers. After all, taxpayers paid for the 1st dinner and the games, so how about another dinner?

“Appreciation dinner–I’m not holding my breath, waiting for it.

no tax is ever temporary
once enacted it will never go away….
too much money involved for that.

Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2015 @ 8:26 AM by Palopu “Why should homeowners continue to pay this tax, while business, and non home owners don’t.”

Not exactly, businesses that own the building still pay in taxes, a lot more than a homeowner. ALL residential and commercial buildings/land pay this tax. You are correct renters/leasers do not but the owner of the rental/lease property does.

oldman1, are you suggesting they continue the levy in order to pay for this “appreciation dinner”?

Thanks, but I’ll buy my own dinner.

LittleBirdie- I am sure I will have to buy my dinner also but I don’t think they are done sucking on the tax payers yet.

amazing how many on this blog are out of touch with reality.

The tax levy has been in place and reported at length in the media for years. No news here. The story says the money was used for capital improvements to city facilities with most of it to fix the Kin Centre making it one of the best four arena facilities in the country. The story also says the money can’t be used for anything else, something that has been stated over and over again each time it has been asked. No news here.

Once the funds for the capital improvements have been collected then council makes the decision as to what to do and if they have any brains (and seeing they were just elected it appears most voters think they do) they will simply repeal the bylaw and all will be said and done. The biggest event in northern BC’s history is done and now the region has some of the best sports facilities in the country and we should also get a tax break in 2016. Not a bad deal.

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