North Saanich homeowners can expect their property taxes to go up by an average of $41 — or 3.29 per cent — after council approved the municipal budget. Commercial properties will see a tax increase of 1.9 per cent. The budget also includes measures to relieve some of the economic effects of COVID-19.
Councillors deferred a water infrastructure replacement tax increase of $50 in lowering the tax increase for an average residence to $41. Council also agreed to waive utility fee late payment penalties for the Feb. 24 billing cycle and extend the payment deadline of the June billing from July 31 to Sept. 30, 2020.
“Council considered how we could best support our community through these difficult times,” said Mayor Geoff Orr in a release. “We chose to waive utility bill late fees as a way to support those who are struggling financially through this health crisis. But we ask that if you can afford to pay on time, please do. We also continue to monitor the evolving fiscal reality for business and residents and are prepared to amend the financial plan if necessary.”
North Saanich’s budget, in other words, may yet change along with other municipalities that are currently revising their budgets.
North Saanich residents will also pay more for water (up 2.2 per cent) and sewer (up 1.6 per cent).
Other key changes include a six per cent increase in policing costs and a two per cent increase in council salaries.
On the capital side, North Saanich’s $10-million budget includes funding for new vehicles and equipment for the fire department and public works, watermain and sewer replacements, upgrades to the green waste facility and bike lanes.
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