Draft budget shows 2.8 per cent tax increase

Draft budget shows 2.8 per cent tax increase

Federal gas tax funds put aside for expected future infrastructure needs

Oak Bay’s draft budget includes a roughly 2.8 per cent tax increase.

That includes putting aside expected gas tax funds, about $700,000 a year, into a capital works reserve. In a subsequent meeting council opted to use about $200,000 this year, dropping the potential tax increase about one per cent.

“That amounts to the equivalent of just over three per cent of what would have otherwise been a tax hike,” said Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen. “We know our buildings are aging, all our infrastructure is aging. We’re in that stage of evolution in our community where monies have to be put into renewal in addition to keeping the municipality going.”

There are a number of drivers in the tax rise, he said. It considers the expected increase in salaries for police and fire in anticipation of negotiations about to start on collective agreements that expired in 2015. There was an increase in the information technology budget of about $63,000.

“There are general across the board increases as commodities are getting more expensive,” Jensen said.

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com