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REPORTING · 1st March 2012
Walter McFarlane
Steve Christianson, Municipal Treasurer led off the Kitimat Budget Discussions for 2012 with the revenues. He explained the residential and industrial taxes are the largest sources of revenue, Residential bringing in over 3 million to the community coffers and Industrial bringing in over 16 million.

There are two utility taxes, the first of which comes from community consumption, such as BC Hydro, Citywest and Telus. The other is a franchise fee which can be found on the PNG gas bill. There are also grants from the government for land use which the District receives instead of taxes.

With the topic of User Fees Councillor Corrine Scott gave a quick suggestion. “I noticed that we had no revenue coming in from the library. The library is something that’s been free for our residents for, I suppose, forever. It took me by surprise when I came here that library memberships were free for residents of the community,” said Scott.

She expressed it would be a revenue source to charge $15 per person and $25 per family for a membership in the library. Councillor Feldhoff suggested this should wait for another day. Councillor Rob Goffinet said this could cause less people to use the library, particularly kids and families. They should consult the library before hand.

Christianson went through the fees for garbage pick up, the money which comes in from the arena, the swimming pool, parks and Riverlodge. Goffinet suggested increasing the fees for garbage collection. Martin Gould, head of leisure services said the Advisory Recreation Commission would be meeting on their user fees later this month.

Christianson explained the amount of revenue generated by building permits has gone up over the last two years. After touching on return on investments, He explained they rent out buildings to organizations in the community, such as the Library and the Museum, and charge them to their grant.

He explained several lesser grants as well as utility rates. Christianson explained they have their total revenue and they kept it within a 2.5% increase. The revenue is anticipated for 2012 is estimated at just over $25.5 million. They took away there expenses, estimated at over $21.5 million, and what is left is just over 4 million for supplementary.

Council did go through their expenditures. Most of which are items which are left over from last years budget or requests which were made during the budget meeting on February 6th.