The average Prince George homeowner could see a property tax increase in line with the city's 3.5 per cent boost to their overall budget.
The report from financial planning manager Kris Dalio to the finance and audit committee during their meeting Monday suggests the city take in 54.2 per cent of the more-than $83 million tax levy by charging residents $7.93 per $1,000 on their assessed home value.
The major industrial property class would see a 1.89 per cent decrease in their tax rate and light industrial, business, utility and farm classes would decrease by 5.67 per cent.
But, as Mayor Shari Green pointed out, that doesn't mean a reduction in their tax bills, since assessment values have increased.
The financial department is also recommending a reduction to the major industry class rate from 2012's $46.88 to $46 - in keeping with a city's policy set in 2010 of coming down to meet the provincial average for the class over a 10-year period. In 2011, the provincial average rate was $37.93.
Other proposed tax rates per $1,000 of assessed value are:
* Utility class - $36.75
* Light industry class - $24.92
* Business class - $15.49
* Recreation/non-profit and farm classes would make up the remaining $55,728 of the tax levy.
Members of the committee agreed Monday to forward the staff recommendation on the tax rates to the committee of the whole for further debate before returning the recommendation to council. The next scheduled committee of the whole meeting is April 15. A tax rate bylaw must be on the books by May 15.
"I think industry has more of an ability to pay than residential folks," said Coun. Brian Skakun.
Coun. Dave Wilbur also said he would potentially like to see the residential rate brought down by at least half a percentage point, and potentially shift the burden to the business or major industry classes.
"We've shifted considerable dollars to utility bills and we've heard loud and clear how much people appreciate that," added Coun. Frank Everitt, suggesting perhaps it wasn't the right year to be giving major industry a break.
Though Green said she was "kind of OK" with not bringing down the tax rate for major industry, it went against the city's policy and she cautioned against painting all industry and business property owners with the same brush.
"Not everybody is profiting from the boom that's coming or in some cases already here," she said.