Rachelle Stein-Wotten

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder

The approved provisional budget for the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District includes a projected increase of nearly $5 per $100,000.

The $23.7 million proposed tax requisition for the NRHD include $3.5 million for capital equipment and minor capital projects, $6.5 million for debt payments and debt issue expenses, $480,000 for the human resource information project carried forward from 2022 and a $15.5 million transfer to reserves for future infrastructure projects at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. Based on 2022 assessments, the projected tax cost is $35.95 per $100,000, a $4.69 per $100,000 increase compared to the 2022 tax rate.

The proposed tax requisition is approximately $4 million less than projected in last year’s five-year financial plan as borrowing was less nor were there as many capital outlay projects as planned, Tiffany Moore, Regional District of Nanaimo chief financial officer, said during the December budget presentation to the board of directors. The recommended requisition for 2024 is also lower than what was approved in the last financial plan while those recommended for 2025 through 2027 are higher.

The hospital district’s current reserves are $29.6 million. Through 2023 to 2027, another $139.2 million in reserve contributions are recommended to help pay for the hospital district’s contributions to Island Health’s capital plan through 2031, currently projected at $2.7 billion.

The provisional budget is based on Island Health’s projects list submitted last year, including major capital priorities of a cancer centre, patient tower, long-term care facility, catheterization lab and high acuity unit. In January, Island Health will deliver its official funding request and a revised budget will be presented in March.

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