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District of Kitimat sets 2024 residential flat-tax rate


Kitimat Council voted to maintain the existing flat tax rate for 2024, adjusting it upward by 4 per cent like last year to match the overall budget increase. The new flat-tax rate will be set at $723.

A Residential Flat Tax Court of Revision has been scheduled for May 6, allowing for electronic participation.

Amid discussions at the April 15 regular meeting, Councillor Graham Pitzel raised concerns about the distribution of tax burdens under the flat tax model.

“I’m not sure if this is something we ever explored, but do we know how much our tax base would change if we got off the flat-tax system?” he asked.

The municipality’s director of finance, Sue-Lin Tarnowski, said her department does not have a detailed analysis. However, she indicated that $431,000 represents the equilibrium point in residential assessments, and those above this threshold benefit from lower taxes under the flat tax model compared to a variable tax rate system. Conversely, those with assessments below this point incur higher taxes under the current model.

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Tarnowski added that 74 per cent of Kitimat properties are assessed over the $431,000 line, a figure that surprised council, given the majority of properties were developed prior to the 1980s.

Pitzel, leveraging his experience as a Realtor, questioned the accuracy of the finance department’s finding.

“I don’t mean any disrespect to our director of finance, but I think it would actually be the opposite—74 per cent below, and 26 above $431,000,” he said.

Tarnowski was confident with the figures, but offered to double check the numbers and confirm with council at a later date.

Kitimat is one of the few remaining municipalities to use the flat-tax system. The rare method of property taxation was authorized by the province in 990 and subsequent repealed in 1992. The system has been a cornerstone of Kitimat’s tax structure for over three decades, and once discontinued, cannot be reinstated.

About the Author: Quinn Bender

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