Saanich’s 2019 budget is set to increase revenue from property taxes by 5.2 per cent. Black Press File.

Additional revenue lowers Saanich’s proposed tax increase

Saanich is set to raise taxes by 5.2 per cent, down from 5.37 per cent

A revenue increase has lowered the municipal tax increase that Saanich council prepares to adopt Monday.

Higher recreation rates and additional revenues thanks to a grant-in-lieu from BC Hydro has allowed Saanich to lower the requisition of additional revenue from property tax.

While Saanich council had initially agreed to raise revenues from property taxes by 5.37 per cent, the new funding totalling $216,062 lowers the increase to 5.2 per cent. Saanich started budget discussions with a proposed increase of 5.93 per cent.

RELATED: Saanich budget brings 5.37 per cent tax increase

Valla Tinney, Saanich’s director of finance, said average homeowners in Saanich will see the municipal portion of their tax bills rise by $134.51 — down from $139 under the old figure.

A break-down of this increase shows 26.1 per cent of the revenue increase goes towards operations, resource requests and non-discretionary cost; 23.2 per cent will go towards increase spending on capital infrastructure; 19 per cent towards additional policing; and 2.6 per cent toward the Greater Victoria Public Library. Almost 30 per cent of the increase — 28.8 — per cent goes towards covering the Employers’ Health Tax.

RELATED: Saanich council members slam new health tax following release of draft budget

Several councillors have denounced the EHT as a provincial imposition, noting that the actual increase would be below four per cent, in this case 3.7 per cent.

“I’m quite fine going out [to the public] with this budget,” said Coun. Judy Brownoff in late March, a point echoed by Coun. Colin Plant. Like everybody else, he said at the time that he favours lower taxes, but results from Saanich’s citizens survey leave him with the conclusion that council is getting things right.

The 2019 budget includes additional funding for staff that promise to improve bylaw enforcement and the efficiency of Saanich’s development permit application.

Mayor Fred Haynes said in late March that the additional staff will help the municipality grow its commercial base, something that would ultimately help Saanich reduce the tax burden on residents.

When council settled on the initial increase of 5.37 per cent, support was unanimous, but several councillors had expressed reservations about the long-term effects of the increase.

Coun. Ned Taylor expressed the fear that the budget would have a negative impact on affordability for not only homeowners, but also renters.

Coun. Karen Harpercalled on Saanich to continue to look for savings.

Coun. Nathalie Chambers meanwhile had expressed support for additional spending on police.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

.

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

Just Posted

VIDEO: Driver found guilty in Saanich crash that left Leila Bui with catastrophic brain injuries

Tenessa Nikirk convicted on one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Greater Victoria man killed in Alberta accident was expectant father

Geordie Murray described as ‘wonderful husband, brother son and friend’

West Shore RCMP look to identify man who allegedly stole two hoverboards

Suspect described as five-foot-10, heavyset, with dark brown hair

West Shore RCMP arrest man attempting to break into Colwood homes naked

Suspect entered one home, broke two front door glass panels

John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls-Royce on display at Victoria’s Royal BC Museum

The classic car has been a favourite for Beatles fans from Victoria and internationally

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women to not walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

The Three Bears are down to two after baby bear carving stolen from his perch in Island community

Thief repeatedly kicked it and dislodged it from cement and rebar

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

Whistleblower says Iranian-Americans questioned at Peace Arch crossing were targeted

Immigration lawyer says response from Customs Border Protection is a ‘total cover up’

‘Big money’ funding B.C. politics now mostly from taxpayers

Campaign targets $16 million and counting in ‘politician welfare’

Ski lift closed at B.C. mountain over alleged actions of former employee

‘We are actively investigating and dealing with the actions of a former employee,’ said the resort

VIDEO: Music stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant at Grammys award show

Music artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Rick Ross and Kirk Franklin paid tribute to Bryant

Most Read