Average home owner will see $340 tax increase

Published on March 8, 2023 by David Wylie

Photo: Screenshot
Lake Country Mayor Blair Ireland starts the March 7 council meeting.

Your 2023 municipal tax bill will officially increase by just over 17%.

Lake Country council adopted the 2023-2027 financial plan, which also includes the 2023 budget, at its meeting Tuesday night.

That means the average single-family home owner in Lake Country will see an increase of about $340 on their local tax bill.

Coun. Cara Reed was the lone vote in opposition.

At a town hall earlier this year, Mayor Blair Ireland told the crowd that Lake Country residents face an unfair tax burden. “We are a bedroom community and the bulk of our taxation rate is on home owners,” he said.

The mayor said the district has been proactively working to diversify the tax base by removing land from the ALR to create its own business park. He says district staff have also been incentivizing Main Street as a place to launch commercial businesses.

Residential taxes represent the lion’s share of tax dollars raised for the district, at $17.7 million and 87.5% of the total.

Business taxes account for $1.66 million and 8.2%, followed by light industrial at $533,000 and 2.6%

Later in Tuesday’s meeting, council adopted a five-year economic development and tourism plan for the district. A main pillar is encouraging residents to shop local.

The district’s economic development and public engagement specialist, Ruth Sulentich, presented the plan.

“I think a lot of people don’t recognize what we have here,” she told council.

“Support it, and if you don’t, it’s going to disappear.”

The six objectives in the plan include strengthening existing businesses, diversifying the local tax base, improving the permitting process, and enhancing the tourism and visitor experience.