FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John will host a public meeting for the community to review the 2021 capital and operating budgets on Monday.

The problem is with current COVID-19 restrictions, residents are not allowed to attend Council meetings. Instead, Council is asking for community feedback via email or mail.

Residents can view information about the 2021 capital and operating budgets by visiting the City’s website.

The City is proposing a small increase in property taxes to cover the 2021 operating budget. In a report to Council earlier this year, Chief Financial Officer David Joy said taxes would have to increase by 2.5 per cent to help balance the budget. They are also looking at using funds from the Peace River Agreement, pulling from contingency reserves and increasing user fees, permits, and licences to make up the $650,000 deficit.

The City says a residential property worth $300,000 would see a $38 increase to their property tax bill. For commercial property worth $820,000, that increase would be approximately $293.

On the other hand, the capital budget is funded almost exclusively through the Peace River Agreement with the Province of B.C. and other grants. The capital budget does not affect property tax rates.

The capital budget includes over $73 million in projects for 2021 included the most significant project, the new RCMP detachment.

Residents are encouraged to submit their comments by emailing or mailing the City before March 5, 2021.