Oak Bay reserve funds will go to new plows and mowers

Just like the 99 per cent, municipalities have to dip into savings to buy big ticket items.

Just like the 99 per cent, municipalities have to dip into savings to buy big ticket items.

Which is what Oak Bay council did this year to finance purchases such as new recreation centre furnishings, a new cop car, and the dull but necessary sewer pipe lining. Repaving of Foul Bay Road, a new snow plow, boom truck, and lawn mowers will also be financed from a collection of reserve funds.

Oak Bay council approved its 2012 budget of $31,582,000 this week, including withdrawing monies from four reserve funds for more than a dozen purchases and projects.

Oak Bay Coun. John Herbert is a retired accountant and numbers watchdog.

“It’s probably a little higher than we (council) all would have liked,” he said about the budget. “It’s not a bad budget. It’s reasonable, and starting to move to improving our roads, which are in pretty tough shape, is very important.”

Oak Bay municipality derives its revenue from property taxes, 97.5 per cent of which are residential, and from other sources such as fee collection and reserve funds. Both commercial and residential property owners pay the same tax ratios. This year the property tax increase is 3.44 per cent, an average of $90 per house. The rate is 3.0136 per $1,000 assessed value. This includes an additional one-half per cent to start a reserve fund for transportation infrastructure renewal.

Property tax notices will be sent out after the rate is approved at a May 14 council meeting. Taxes are due July 3 this year.