Abbotsford city manager believes no tax hike possible for 2014

A report from city staff last week indicated that the lofty goal of a zero per cent tax increase is achievable.

Abbotsford city manager George Murray.

Abbotsford will not raise taxes in 2014, and will be able to “do more with less,” said city manager George Murray.

A report from city staff was approved by council on Monday, and city manager George Murray said the “lofty” goal of a zero per cent tax increase is achievable.

“We are sending a message to staff that has now been confirmed by council, that we are looking for a net zero tax increase for the 2014 budget.”

In the 2013 budget, the total tax increase was 2.06 per cent. The 2013 increase in utility rates was five per cent for sewer and two per cent for storm drainage. Water and solid waste did not increase.

In the proposal for 2014, only sewer rates will increase by five per cent, in order to fund projected capital requirements.

The report from staff states that the 2014 financial plan will be developed to reflect the cost of providing core service levels equivalent to 2013, and increases will be provided only for contractual obligations such as salaries and benefits, utilities and insurance.

“Any inherent cost drivers, things like increases in costs of utilities, staffing, gas for vehicles, rent, what we have, will have to be reduced in other areas of the budget in order to make sure that we have a zero or negative tax increase in the next year.”

Murray said each department will look at their budget, analyze expenditures and try to find more efficient and effective ways to do business without impacting services.

Murray said it will be a difficult task, as there is an increase in the downloading of services from other levels of government and increased public expectation.

“I think that the ratepayers are getting fatigued of having to pay more and more for local government services. We hear it constantly from our community. I think that this organization has the staff who can make this happen … and maintain services.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: A one-person Terry Fox walk by Langley City resident

Lois Mcleay didn’t have to worry about social distancing

VIDEO: gunshots fired outside Langley gas station

Two people involved left scene uninjured, police said

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

VIDEO: Art in the time of COVID: how a Langley exhibition managed it

Holding the charitable event depended on which phase of restrictions were in effect

Three TWU grads named to first ‘Fellows’ program at Langley-based university

Program selects promising recent graduates to participate in a year-long paid internship

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Most Read