Colwood city council confirmed a five per cent property tax increase for 2021, reduced from the originally suggested 6.5 per cent increase.
The cuts will save the average Colwood homeowner $56 on their tax bill, due July 2. The original plan would have cost a typical property $171 more than last year when council voted to hold property taxes at the same rate as 2019. This year they can expect to pay $115 more.
Savings were found by deferring some expenses council felt could wait until next year. They also shifted some of the tax burden to businesses, thereby lowering the residential tax bill.
Council deferred until 2022 the hiring of a human resources coordinator, public beautification projects and the spring clean up program that collects awkward garbage like bathtubs, cars and appliances. Councillors have also funded some public infrastructure partially from reserve funds, reducing the amount of tax revenue required for the year.
In transferring some of burden back to businesses, a short term reversal of council’s long term plan to decrease the business tax ratio, business owners will pay $465 more per $1 million of assessed value than last year.
After three meetings this week, and hours of staff work to respond to requested changes to the financial plan, the final motions passed unanimously.
Tax invoices will be mailed out by the end of May, and taxes are due July 2.
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