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Tax hike of 1.96% eyed

Bonus cash from the New Westminster’s digital sign boards has helped slide the city’s property tax increase for 2014 under two per cent.

On Monday, council approved in principle a budget that would result in a tax rate increase of 1.96 per cent.

Last month, a budget proposing a hike of 2.59 per cent was presented, which was whittled down to 2.12 per cent.

To take it below two per cent, city council opted to include $100,000 in revenue from the large digital advertising signs located at entrances to the city.

Although the sign revenue has been allocated to reserve funds for rehabilitating or replacing Canada Games Pool, a new Massey Theatre and affordable housing, the city expects to receive revenue over and above the guarantee.

“The exact value of the bonus revenue is not known at this time, but based on initial projections staff believes that it is reasonable to include $100,000 in the 2014 budget,” said a report to council. Final budget approval is slated for March.

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