COURTENAY B.C – Courtenay councillor Doug Hillian is hoping the city can ease tax costs to residents by introducing a tax committee.

At the April 15th council meeting, Councillor Doug Hillian put forward a motion to direct staff to prepare a report by June 24, recommending that council to create a select committee to investigate and come up with alternative funding sources.

Those sources would help fund the city’s infrastructure projects, and would limit the cost to taxpayers.

Currently the city’s five year financial plan shows that property taxes are forecasted to go up. This year’s increase is set at 2.75 per cent, with 2020 going up by 5.20 per cent. 2021 would see a rise of 8.03 per cent, 2022 a rise of 6.65 per cent, and in 2023, 4.47 per cent.

Hillian said the goal of the committee would be to help limit those increases for Courtenay residents.

“Rather than look at the sorts of tax increases that are likely in years to come, given the significant infrastructure projects we need to take on, and the ongoing operating costs, lets sit down and see if we can come up with some creative options for alternative sources of revenue.”

He added that the plan would be looking at solving the long term problem.

“We’re looking towards the future with this. The tax rates for this year have been established, but we’re looking at the next five years, given the number of capital projects that we have, the borrowing that’s going to be involved, where can we find alternative sources of revenue?”

The motion was passed unanimously, and a report will be reviewed by council at the June 24 meeting outlining the possibility of the committee.