City outlines cost of keeping K-12 in Rossland

City of Rossland administrative staff have put numbers to the prospect of supporting continued K-12 education in Rossland. The tax rate calculation will be presented to council on Wednesday night, during the regular meeting.

Council instructed staff to run through the possible tax implications if it were to help School District 20 meet the shortfalls that have forced it to only consider K-9 education at Rossland Secondary School or K-7 at MacLean Elementary School.

City staff ran four possible scenarios for funding, they are:

- $300,000 per year for three years

- $300,000 per year for one year

- $140,000 per year for three years

- $140,000 per year for one year

The biggest tax rate increase comes as a result of the first option, which is no surprise. That would amount to a residence assessed at $265,000 paying an additional $95 per year, for five years, on top of other taxes.

For the 2012 tax year, a household assessed like the one above pays around $3,270.

The second suggestion would cost just over $31 per year over five years.

The third possibility that staff looked at, $140,000 per year for three years, would see a rise of $44 per $265,000 assessment.

The fourth, $140,000 for one year, would raise taxes by just under $15 per $265,000.

The city's corporate officer, Tracey Butler, clarified that the numbers have no recommendations attached to them, as staff was only directed to look into the scenarios.

Butler also noted that the five-year term for a MFA loan is the longest term to keep the loan a short-term loan.

The other option at council's disposal is to dip into reserves, but Butler said they are depleted because of the Columbia-Washington project.

Council will receive the information on Wednesday and can then chose where to go with it. It will also be dependent on what happens at tonight's school district meeting at Rossland Secondary, which is the second reading of the two bylaws pertaining to the closure of either Rossland Secondary School or MacLean Elementary School.

The information above can be found on page 109 of the council agenda package.


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