On Tuesday, April 22, Maple Ridge Council amended the 2014-2018 Financial Plan and moved forward with the lowest total tax increase in the past decade. The final General Purpose tax increase is 1.90% for 2014 and 1.92% for 2015. The total increase including infrastructure, drainage and Parks and Recreation levies will be 2.95% in 2014 and 2.97% in 2015.
“This is the lowest total tax increase in the last decade. It reflects the fact that most line items in the budget show zero increase,” said Mayor Ernie Daykin. “This budget reflects our commitment to cost containment across all departments and a very careful balance of the capacity of citizens to pay versus the services that they expect us to deliver. The fact that the final increase is almost half a percent lower than the budget guidelines we approved this time last year reflects the fact that our staff understand and have acted on our wishes.”
At the April 22 Council meeting, Council approved a change in the financial planning process that will allow the incoming Council to focus on the development of their strategic direction as their top priority. This is why the 2015 revenue requirements were reviewed as part of this Financial Plan amendment.
The District will host a Live Question and Answer session at 6:00 pm on Monday, April 28, 2014. Citizens will be able to ask questions about the Financial Plan via telephone, email, social media and live from within Council Chambers. The session will be live streamed on the internet to allow this immediate interaction.
“This change in the Business Planning process will benefit the new Council greatly. I remember being elected and facing a week of detailed Financial Planning at a time when I did not fully understand the role of each department and the interconnectedness of much of our work,” noted Mayor Ernie Daykin. “The new Council will have the discretion to change the planning process when they are elected, but this system allows them to come into their jobs and focus on getting oriented into their new work and to set their strategic vision for the community without the deadline of the current budget process hanging over their heads. This will be a significant improvement in the way we do our business,” he concluded.
For more information about the current tax rates or upcoming Financial Planning work please contact Paul Gill at email@example.com or call 604-463-5221.