Saanich’s 2019 budget is set to increase revenue from property taxes by 5.2 per cent. Black Press File.

Additional revenue lowers Saanich’s proposed tax increase

Saanich is set to raise taxes by 5.2 per cent, down from 5.37 per cent

A revenue increase has lowered the municipal tax increase that Saanich council prepares to adopt Monday.

Higher recreation rates and additional revenues thanks to a grant-in-lieu from BC Hydro has allowed Saanich to lower the requisition of additional revenue from property tax.

While Saanich council had initially agreed to raise revenues from property taxes by 5.37 per cent, the new funding totalling $216,062 lowers the increase to 5.2 per cent. Saanich started budget discussions with a proposed increase of 5.93 per cent.

RELATED: Saanich budget brings 5.37 per cent tax increase

Valla Tinney, Saanich’s director of finance, said average homeowners in Saanich will see the municipal portion of their tax bills rise by $134.51 — down from $139 under the old figure.

A break-down of this increase shows 26.1 per cent of the revenue increase goes towards operations, resource requests and non-discretionary cost; 23.2 per cent will go towards increase spending on capital infrastructure; 19 per cent towards additional policing; and 2.6 per cent toward the Greater Victoria Public Library. Almost 30 per cent of the increase — 28.8 — per cent goes towards covering the Employers’ Health Tax.

RELATED: Saanich council members slam new health tax following release of draft budget

Several councillors have denounced the EHT as a provincial imposition, noting that the actual increase would be below four per cent, in this case 3.7 per cent.

“I’m quite fine going out [to the public] with this budget,” said Coun. Judy Brownoff in late March, a point echoed by Coun. Colin Plant. Like everybody else, he said at the time that he favours lower taxes, but results from Saanich’s citizens survey leave him with the conclusion that council is getting things right.

The 2019 budget includes additional funding for staff that promise to improve bylaw enforcement and the efficiency of Saanich’s development permit application.

Mayor Fred Haynes said in late March that the additional staff will help the municipality grow its commercial base, something that would ultimately help Saanich reduce the tax burden on residents.

When council settled on the initial increase of 5.37 per cent, support was unanimous, but several councillors had expressed reservations about the long-term effects of the increase.

Coun. Ned Taylor expressed the fear that the budget would have a negative impact on affordability for not only homeowners, but also renters.

Coun. Karen Harpercalled on Saanich to continue to look for savings.

Coun. Nathalie Chambers meanwhile had expressed support for additional spending on police.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

.

Just Posted

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Light up August with a lantern building workshop in Sidney

ArtSea workshops in preparation for Aug. 24 Salish Sea Lantern Festival

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Most Read