Castlegar City Hall. File photo

Castlegar City Hall. File photo

Castlegar council passes draft budget with 3.88 per cent tax increase

Two online open houses will be held on Jan. 18 to allow the public to provide input

After weeks of meetings and hard decisions, Castlegar city council has approved a draft budget for 2021 and a draft five-year financial plan covering 2021-25.

The budget includes a tax increase of 3.88 per cent for residential and commercial properties.

The five-year financial plan approved last year originally included a tax increase for 2021 of 7.6 per cent. The reduction in the increase was achieved by reducing or cutting budget items and putting some projects off to a future year.

According to city calculations, the increase works out to be $3.56 per month ($42.72 annually) for residential properties and $10.93 per month ($131.16 annually) for businesses.

Those figures are based on 2020 property assessments, which put the average Castlegar house at $327,000. It is important to note that assessed property values provided by BC Assessment are not the same as selling prices. Cities use the BC Assessment figures when calculating property taxes.

New assessments for 2021 are arriving in mailboxes this week and according to BC Assessment, the average house in Castlegar increased in value by eight per cent. That increase is not enough to make a significant difference in the average cost forecasted by the city, rather it would just add a few dollars annually.

It is also important to remember that not all of the money collected by a municipal government on property taxes is for the city. Cities also collect taxes from residents on behalf of regional districts and the province. Last year’s (2020) municipal tax rate was 3.3623 per cent. The total tax rate, including RDCK and other provincial requisitions, was 7.2681 per cent.

Key items in the 2021 budget include the Columbia Avenue Phase 2 Redevelopment Project, upgrading the washroom/shower facility at Millennium Park and Ponds, developing a city-wide housing strategy, website updates to add online services and improve information sharing in response to a recent community-wide survey, and increasing bylaw enforcement to full time.

Back in November, the city received $2.18 million from the federal/provincial Safe Restart program. The draft budget allocates some of that money for a full-time bylaw officer. Another portion will be used to support operations at the West Kootenay Regional Airport, which has seen a huge hit to revenue due to the cancellation of commercial flights. Even though those flights were cancelled, the city is still responsible for maintaining safety and certification standards with Transport Canada and other flights such as private, Southeast Fire Centre and medevac continue to land.

RELATED: West Kootenay Regional Airport sees action in spite of Air Canada cancellations

How to spend the remaining funds will be decided on at a later date.

The city’s draft 2021 budget is available at

Two online open houses will be held to allow the public to provide input about the budget. They will be held on Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Visit to join the Zoom session or call 1-647-558-0588. Webinar ID: 818 9049 6715 and passcode: 306802

You can also comment online at or by email to before Jan 15.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

castlegarmunicipal politics

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

Just Posted

Summit Ski Hill had a delayed start to the season because of warm temperatures. Photo: Summit Ski Hill
Late season start frustrating for Nakusp ski hill

Summit Ski Hill only just opened Jan. 14

Four friends were heading to their home on Highway 6 just south of Silverton on the evening of Dec. 25, 2020, when the people in the front of the vehicle saw what looked like a “huge, man-like figure” on the side of the road. (
Possible Bigfoot sighting shocks, excites Silverton residents

‘I didn’t see the creature myself, I saw the prints’

A micro-cannabis cultivation facility was proposed for 1370 Forest Road. Photo: City of Castlegar
Castlegar neighbourhood celebrates after cannabis facility proposal withdrawn

A medical grade cannabis facility was proposed for Forest Road

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
115 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths in Interior Health

There are now a total of 4,970 cases in the region

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. finds its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government announces creation of B.C.’s first anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Andre Robert won $500,000 through a Lotto Extra ticket on Dec. 23, 2020. Photo: Jeanne d’Arc Allard
Creston resident wins $500k through Lotto ticket

“I was surprised. I wasn’t sure if it was true or not.”

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Purcell Wilderness Conservancy expanded with 18 hectares of previously privately-owned land. Photo from BC Parks.
Purcell Wilderness Conservancy expanded following Provincial land acquisition

18 hectares of waterfront added to critical wildlife habitat

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Most Read