Story by Amy Edwards, 98.9 The Goat

COMOX, B.C- The Town of Comox will be seeing a tax increase for residents and commercial businesses over the course of the next five years.

According to Comox mayor Paul Ives, the town’s new five-year financial plan includes a 1.4 per cent increase for commercial property taxes and a 2.43 per cent increase for residential property taxes.

Ives indicated that property tax increases will be fairly stable, going forward.

“I would anticipate during the course of the five-year plan, the tax increases would be in the range of 2-3% which is basically the rate of inflation, and putting aside money for infrastructure,” said Ives.

Ives stated that the reasoning for this tax increase is to put money towards capital and operational expenditures such as roadwork, and other important projects in hopes to renew infrastructure.

One per cent of the increase will be going towards capital, and Ives said Comox is working towards being debt-free.

“Our operational and capital debt will be retired this year in 2018, so we will be able to put more money that we would otherwise be spending on interest into infrastructure,” the mayor said.

“Roughly about $300,000 a year that we’re putting towards interest will now go directly into capital spending.”

As for who will be most affected by the increase, Ives said there are “tax payers of all kinds” in Comox, and people on fixed incomes are often challenged with a cost increase.

Overall, Mayor Ives said the increases are “affordable, manageable and hopefully won’t put a burden on anyone”.

If anyone has any questions about what projects Comox tax dollars are going towards, the Town of Comox will be hosting an annual open house on Wednesday, May 23rd from 3-7pm.

Municipal staff will be available to speak one on one with residents, and information on the town’s capital projects will be available.