The city of Port Coquitlam is projecting a historic drop in taxes this year owing to a number of operational factors that Mayor Greg Moore says will save money in the long run.
But here's the catch: If residents want the aging PoCo recreation complex and seniors centre replaced sooner rather than later, they can agree to a 1% to 1.5% tax hike to pay for it - that's a cost of about $25 per household.
Mayor Moore said the city plans to engage residents on the issue, through an online survey and other methods, to find out which way the wind is blowing. This is a different process than a typical referendum, which would see people make a choice at the ballot box.
It's hard to say whether asking people this question so late in the budget process is a good idea. It all depends on how successful the city is in getting people to respond. But if citizens choose to redevelop the rec centre now, they should be aware that decision may also affect a much bigger and longer term plan to redevelop the complex along with adjoining city lands.
The important thing is for PoCo residents to get involved and say what they think about the city's budget.