Greater Victoria residents should have a say before their property taxes increase to pay for a nearly $1-billion light-rail project, Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard said.
Earlier this month, the Capital Regional District approved a plan for a $950-million light-rail route from downtown Victoria to Langford.
“We really don’t know if every taxpayer is supporting this kind of expenditure and this kind of tax increase,” Leonard said. “We either need to do a pretty significant consultation in a short time, or you go to them with the question.”
A sample funding formula of 68 per cent local taxes and 32 per cent provincial money, would equate to an annual rate hike of about $200 for the region’s average taxpayer.
If the province commits to a contribution prior to November’s municipal elections, Leonard, who sits on the Victoria Regional Transit Commission, would like to see the LRT question added to ballots.
“I think the public consultation by design has attracted people …who would use (LRT),” he said. “From what I can tell, people in North Saanich or Sidney or Cordova Bay or Oak Bay haven’t been going to the open houses and haven’t had much discussion of it.”