Sidney council makes 2020 business tax cuts permanent heading into 2021. (Black Press Media Staff).

Sidney council makes 2020 business tax cuts permanent heading into 2021. (Black Press Media Staff).

Sidney council makes 2020 business tax cuts permanent heading into 2021

Council agreed to review taxation rates on the basis of 2020 business rates

Sidney council continues to prepare the ground for changes to its municipal tax policy in favour of businesses.

Council voted unanimously to use the 2020 taxes rate as starting point for yet-to-be-finalized tax rates in 2021. Council had earlier this spring decided to reduce business taxes by 10 per cent for 2020 to help local businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council’s most recent tax move makes that cut permanent for the foreseeable future with potential other changes in the works as staff are currently working toward ways of easing the tax burden of non-residential properties (minus recreational marinas) with a corresponding shift toward residential properties.

But this most recent move will also force the municipality to find an additional $300,000 to what make up the ‘lost’ revenue.

According to a presentation last month from Andrew Hicik, Sidney’s director of corporate services and chief financial officer, residential properties account for 87 per cent of Sidney’s assessed properties, they “only pay” 73 per cent of property taxes. “Whereas commercial properties make up only 11 per cent of the assessment base, but they roughly pay twice that in terms of taxation,” he said.

RELATED: Sidney plans 10 per cent break on commercial taxes, zero increase for general property

Owners of light industrial and commercial properties paid 2.44 dollars in municipal property taxes for every dollar paid by owner of residential properties in 2020 under the amended rates.

This difference would have been even higher had council reverted to the pre-cut rates of 2019 when the multiple was almost three-to-one to the detriment of light industrial and commercial property owners.

According to the report, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businessses, a pro-business lobby group, has been advocating for a commercial multiple of two. Sidney currently does not use the multiple method to divide up the tax burden. It (like all municipalities with some minor exceptions) currently collects a stable share of taxes from each class of property owners, with residential and commercial properties being the two largest category. The categories of utilities, light industrial and recreational properties make up negligible shares.

Discussion among councillors so far has pointed toward a broad but not necessarily unanimous desire to lower the burden on light industrial and commercial property owners against the specific backdrop of COVID-19 but also the more general wish to keep Sidney competitive.

Coun. Terri O’Keeffe worried earlier this month that Sidney’s proposed direction may have a detrimental effect on residential payers, especially younger families with children. She voted against using the 2020 rates during committee-of-the-whole earlier this month.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Sidney

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sipili Molia, regional kettle manager, shows off the Salvation Army’s new contactless donation system for the 2020 Christmas Kettle Campaign outside municipal hall on Dec. 1. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Tech offers hope as Salvation Army sees need skyrocket across B.C.

Charity is equipping hundreds of kettles across B.C. with ‘touchless giving technology’

Kathy MacNeil, president and chief executive officer of Island Health, Dawn Thomas, acting deputy health minister and Island Health’s vice president, Indigenous health and diversity and Chief Don Tom of Tsartlip First Nation, stand out Saanich Peninsula Hospital Tuesday morning, when they also answered questions about a new report that “widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people” in the provincial health care system. (Island Health/Submitted)
Head of Island Health says Saanich Peninsula Hospital not part of racist guessing game

Tsartlip First Nations Chief Don Tom welcomes changes following report but promises future scrutiny

The Capital Regional District and the Habitat Acquisition Fund have agreed to partner on the purchase of the $3.4-million Mountain View Forest in Saanich to establish a new regional park. (Photo courtesy the Habitat Acquisition Trust)
CRD, Habitat Acquisition Trust to spend $3.4M on 20-hectare forest park in Saanich

Mountian Road Forest property to be conserved as regional park

Caroline Sousa, Bela Spick and her son Mateo marched along Prospect Lake Road in November 2019 to bring attention to the unsafe conditions on the road. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich reduces Prospect Lake Road speed limit to 30 km/h

New speed limit in effect as of Dec. 1 from Goward Road to Estelline Road

Royal Bay Secondary’s leadership class, comprised of Grade 9 through 12 students, is part of the student team organizing this year’s 10,000 Tonight event that shifts entirely online for 2020. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
West Shore student food drive shifts entirely online

Drive-thru option removed from 10,000 Tonight in light of COVID-19 restrictions

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Most Read