Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Ridley Island Tax issues with Port Edward remain a concern for City officials

The state of discussions and differences of opinion related to the Ridley Island Tax Agreement still appears to be an unresolved issue between the City of Prince Rupert and the District of Port Edward, with the theme making two appearances at Monday's Prince Rupert City Council session.

At Monday's brief gathering at Council chambers, the city's Financial Officer offered up some observations related to the agreement as part of her Financial variance report for the month of June.

As part of her review of the report, Ms. Bomben noted that the interim agreement with Port Edward had ended on December 31st, and as projected in the 2018 budget the city shared the taxes received from Ridley Island with Port Edward, without any contribution back from their community to Prince Rupert.  ,,

Mayor Brain followed up on the Port Edward talking points later in the session as part of a review of his week in Whistler attending the UBCM convention.

As the Mayor explained it to council, in meetings with provincial officials he had expressed the Prince Rupert view that the Ridley Island Tax Agreement is currently unfair to the community and how the agreement which dates back to 1981 no longer makes sense.

He also noted that there is a need for a review of it, as well as ongoing negotiations on it.

Mayor Brain also made note of the need for a shared service agreement with Port Edward to contribute to the services that they rely on in Prince Rupert that they do not contribute towards at this moment.

As a follow up to those conversations of UBCM, the Mayor said that the city will continue to discuss the issues with the province to find resolutions and how he believes that there were positive discussions on those themes.

The topic of the Ridley Island Tax Agreement has become a rather long running dispute between the City and the District, highlighted during the city's budget process each year, it was also a major element of the Mayor's Hays 2.0 update of the Spring.

Some of the mentions of the Tax Agreement from 2017 and 2018 can be found below:

June 2018 -- Annual Report presentation channels many of the Hays 2.0 themes
June 2018 -- Partnerships and Solutions part of the focus for City of Prince Rupert's 2017 Annual Report
May 2018 -- In your mailbox this week ... your 2018 Property Tax Bills
May 2018 -- City releases notes on recent audit of 2017 finances
April 2018 -- Small Business Committee Report finds common ground with many City Council initiatives
April 2018 -- City's Small Business advisory committee to deliver report to Council tonight
March 2018 -- In final year of their mandate, City Council's list of feuds continues to grow
March 2018 -- City's Budget Presentation now available online; providing City's message along with a review of revenues, expenses and taxation loads
March 2018 -- Some rumblings of discontent from one of the BC NDP's most loyal constituencies
February 2018 -- Budget preview charts course towards public consultation period in Prince Rupert
February 2018 -- Council members to receive Chief Financial Officer's 2018 fiscal blue print tonight

June 2017 -- City's Annual Report available online; public comment session set for June 26th
June 2017 -- City's tax notices make their journey to your mailbox this week
May 2017 -- Prince Rupert City Council's election Quiz
March 2017 -- Familiar themes and a mill rate increase mark Budget Presentation to council

For it's part, the District of Port Edward has not made the relationship with Prince Rupert much of a public discussion issue over the last few years.

Though back in 2016 the District did offer up a different interpretation when it comes to the Service Agreement and noted at the time, that they were planning to  seek out a legal opinion on the Tax Agreement prior to any further discussions with the City of Prince Rupert.

You can review the twin themes on Port Edward from Monday's Council session through the City's video archive. Ms. Bomben's comments are made at the  three minute mark, while the Mayor expands on the issue at the nine minute point.

For more items of interest from Monday's City Council session see our Council Timeline feature here.

Further background on City Council Discussion themes can be found on our Council Discussion archive.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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