VicPD K9 police service dogs Bondo and Maverick have a tug of war in the summer. The department is contracting out its K9 unit to West Shore RCMP to create revenue and reduce its overall budget request from the City of Victoria. Photo courtesy VicPD

New construction revenue in Victoria to reduce property tax increase

VicPD’s K9 unit contracted out to West Shore RCMP to reduce budget

Thanks to expected tax revenues from newly constructed buildings and cost savings in the police department and elsewhere, the City of Victoria has dropped its property tax increase projection for 2018 to 2.61 per cent.

That’s down from the 2.77-per-cent hike previously projected and further from the original figure of 2.8 per cent, which included utility fees. City council’s 2018-19 budget deliberations are due to wrap up Thursday (Jan. 11).

Council proposed allocating a portion of the estimated $2 million in property tax revenue collected from new buildings to reduce the tax increase. The remainder of that new assessed revenue will see $500,000 put into the City’s reserve fund, $717,000 into other programs and $548,000 toward policing.

Mayor Lisa Helps hopes the tax hike can be further reduced when BC Assessment comes back with the finalized numbers for new builds in March. If those numbers are higher than estimated, the added revenue realized will go to cutting the property tax increase even further.

“We heard really clearly during public engagement that [people are] generally really happy with the service they’re getting, and with any new assessed revenue, that we use it to either lower the property tax impact or save for the future,” Helps said.

“This direction to further reduce the tax impact comes directly from … listening to the public, based on the feedback from the budget survey.”

Other savings in the budget come from cuts to original $55-million police budget, representing savings of $371,000. Requests to fund a Real Time Intelligence Centre (RTIC) at $143,668 were withdrawn, and $228,000 less was budgeted for additional staff.

Although the police are asking for less money to fund operations, there will be no changes in their access to service.

VicPD will contract out its K9 Unit to West Shore RCMP, and use that revenue to partially fund staffing increases, which includes the hiring of six new officers. The RCMP will continue to provide VicPD access to RTIC services at no cost for an extra year.

Helps said she doesn’t anticipate any further reductions to City programs already pre-approved during budget workshops held over the last several months.

Council will be approving the 2018 financial plan at 7 p.m. Thursday.

You can read more about the budget at Victoria.ca.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Two popular Oak Bay art pieces to be installed permanently

Bodhi Frog and The Hunt stay thanks to public support and Oak Bay arts laureate Barbara Adams

Deadline looms for second annual Acorn Arts Award

Nominations for Oak Bay award must be in by Jan. 19

VIDEO: Murdoch to run for mayor

Two-term councillor Kevin Murdoch announces his intent to run for mayor’s chair in fall election

Langford loses bid to host Amazon HQ2

Mayor hopes to attract more tech jobs to city

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Murdoch to run for mayor

Two-term councillor Kevin Murdoch announces his intent to run for mayor’s chair in fall election

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Late charge in Portland sees Victoria collect third straight WHL win

Matthew Phillips leads the way with three-point night in 4-2 win, Giants up next

UPDATE: Police release new footage, launch website in hunt for 13-year-old’s killer

IHIT say no one has been arrested or charged in connection with Marrisa Shen’s death

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

Fines and extra patrols not happening at this time as ban begins Monday

Most Read