Budget 2016 – Chapter 4: Print Article Font Size
The next steps

Over the past six months, Council and Town staff have spent many hours deliberating over the 2016 Budget and Five-Year Financial Plan.

It’s important to us that you, the taxpayer, know just what is happening and what might be changing that affects you.

To that end, Council and Town Staff hosted the annual Budget Open House on January 19th, with the hopes of engaging the public in some meaningful conversation about the proposed 2016 budget and five-year financial plan. The open house featured a great spread of food, an informative presentation and all Council and Town Department Managers were on hand to chat.

“We appreciate those that took advantage of the opportunity to come out and get informed about what is being proposed,” says Mayor Ron Oszust. “With minimal turnout and no formal comments or questions about the proposed budget and five-year financial plan, Council will charge forward with what is proposed thus far and hope for more engagement in these last weeks of public consultation time.”

“Every time you use a recreation facility, have your garbage picked up or utilize emergency services – you are using a Town of Golden service,” says CAO Jon Wilsgard. “Public input helps Council to shape how the town’s priorities are funded for the near future.”

The current process ending February 16th is all about setting the budget for 2016 during which Council will pass separate readings of the associated bylaw and eventually adopt it. The next step will be debating and setting the tax rates for the various tax classes in the community – essentially who pays how much in order to fund the budget. 

Tax rates are based on property values that are provided by BC Assessment - the provincial Crown Corporation that classifies and values all real property in the province. BC Assessment determines the market value of properties and Council then determines the property tax rate they will set to raise the revenue needed to pay for public services.

Golden has six different classes of properties. When setting tax rates, the bulk is assumed by residential and business properties. 

“Setting the rate for each class is an exercise in structured and practical political judgement, based on a number of considerations including assessment trends, distribution fairness, new (non- market) assessment benefits and economic development potential” says Mayor Oszust. “This is the most important annual decision that council makes – and it is highly scrutinized by the public.  At this preliminary point I can confidently say Council is united in its views on these considerations and we will speak more to them after the budget is adopted.”

If you missed the Budget Open House, but would still like to have some input, there is still time. Come to one of 3 upcoming Council/Committee Meetings where there will be special spots on each meeting agenda for a conversation with Council about this proposed budget. Tuesday, February 2 at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 9 at 10:00 a.m. or Tuesday, February 16 at 7:00 p.m.

To learn more about our Proposed Five Year Financial Plan, grab a copy of our Budget Book. This will give you an idea of the “big picture” and where Golden is headed. The Budget Book can be found at Town Hall and also be viewed here on our site under the Public Notices section. You can also view it by visiting our Facebook Page.

Public Consultation Period ENDS on February 16, 2016.