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

Just Posted

VicPd are asking for the public’s help in finding Camper, a lost pit bull who ran away after their owner’s van was reportedly attacked by a man with a hammer on June 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Edmonton man reportedly smashes van’s windows with hammer while woman and her dog inside

VicPD are asking for help to find Camper, the woman’s dog who ran away during the Friday incident

A client and a staff member embark on an art project at Oak Bay United Church. (Christine van Reewyk/News Staff)
VIDEO: Oak Bay group of adults with developmental disabilities promotes community inclusivity

Victoria Community Connections moved to Oak Bay late last year

Red arrow shows the existing warehouse that is home to a variety of specialized equipment used by the Capital Region Emergency Services Telecommunications (CREST). The service provider is looking for a new home that will protect the equipment in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster. (Google Maps)
CREST telecoms look to find a post-seismic facility in Greater Victoria

The move will better protect equipment vital to its 50 emergency service clients across the CRD

(Black Press Media file photo)
FRESH AND LOCAL: Greater Victoria farm markets ready to greet shoppers

A list of markets on the go this spring and summer, right into fall

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Most Read