An aerial view of downtown Sidney. The Town of Sidney won third prize during the fifth annual Candy Cane Awards from the Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria for its financial decisions. (Black Press Media file photo)

An aerial view of downtown Sidney. The Town of Sidney won third prize during the fifth annual Candy Cane Awards from the Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria for its financial decisions. (Black Press Media file photo)

Town of Sidney wins advocacy group nod for financial decision-making

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria recognize the municipality’s tax policy, COVID-19 grant use

A local advocacy group has awarded the Town of Sidney a prize for its financial decision-making.

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria awarded the municipality third prize as part of its fifth annual Candy Cane Awards for holding what the group calls “the line on property taxes” earlier this year.

Council last month 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.

The group also praised Sidney’s decision-making around a grant worth more than $2.75 million to help the municipality deal with the costs of COVID-19.

RELATED: Sidney council makes 2020 business tax cuts permanent heading into 2021

Council members last month voted unanimously to allocate $650,000 of the grant toward making up lost revenues and costs incurred in 2020 because of COVID. They also agreed to “tentatively set aside” $550,000 to maintain the current level of tax reductions for 2021 with a final decision to be made during 2021 budget deliberations, following an amendment by Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith.

“It’s implied in the first part of the motion, but I would like it to be crystal clear,” he said.

Councillors also agreed to set aside the rest of the grant for consideration during the 2021 budget process – with Coun. Terri O’Keeffe the lone voice of opposition – and hold off reviewing the existing ratio of property taxes paid by residential and business property owners respectively.

South Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP) won the Grumpy Taxpayer$’ first prize for what the group calls “successfully mobilizing leaders across the community to develop an economic development plan during the pandemic” after preparing a detailed report and holding a virtual conference drawing together decision-makers from British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon and Alaska, as well as the Canadian prairie provinces.

“The effectiveness of the SIPP partnership shows the power of working together as a region on our shared economic and social prosperity, most significantly during the perilous circumstances in which we find ourselves today,” said John Treleaven, chair of the advocacy group.

SIPP includes 65 public and private-sector partners in Greater Victoria, including 11 local governments, nine First Nations, three post-secondary institutions, nine industry associations and nonprofits, and more than 30 major employers.

Second prize went to the City of Victoria, a frequent target of the group, for improvements to Dallas Road, a popular scenic destination.

“The City of Victoria is to be commended for investing in our aging and critical infrastructure which is considered by residents as a prudent use of tax dollars,” Treleaven said.

RELATED: Cost estimates for new wall along Dallas Road build up to $3.85M


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

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

Just Posted

Seattle Mariners field coordinator Carson Vitale before a game at T-Mobile Park during the 2020 season. Vitale, who grew up in Victoria, has pledged to run 10 miles a day for 2021 and to donate 50 cents per mile to the United Way of King County. (Ben Van Houten/Seattle Mariners)
Mariners coach running 10 miles a day for United Way

Saanich-raised Carson Vitale, Seattle Mariners field coordinator, plans to run 3,650 miles in 2021

Gordon English, construction manager of the Habitat for Humanity project in North Saanich, shows off the current interior of a townhouse part of the affordable housing project. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Families set to move in to affordable housing project in North Saanich by spring

Pending completion of Habitat for Humanity project comes against backdrop of new housing report

A rainbow graces the departure of CCGS John Cabot as it leaves Victoria Jan. 7. (Canadian Coast Guard/Facebook)
Follow a coast guard ship’s trip from Victoria to Halifax, through Panama Canal

Canadian Coast Guard Ship John Cabot left for St. Johns on Jan. 7

Johnathan Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight charges including sex-related offences against children and accessing, possessing and making or publishing child pornography. (Courtesy of Saanich Police)
Sentencing date moved for Saanich nanny guilty of child porn charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight sex offences against children

(Google Maps)
Sophisticated glass-removal crime returns to downtown Victoria

Several businesses on Fort Street targeted overnight, say police

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read