CRD tax bill brings hike for Saanich homeowners

Coun. Judy Brownoff says the province mandates many of the services for which Saanich residents pay taxes towards the Capital Regional District.

Coun. Judy Brownoff says the province mandates many of the services for which Saanich residents pay taxes towards the Capital Regional District.

Homeowners in Saanich will pay just under $200 in taxes (on average) towards the Capital Regional District, according to budget figures released last month.

This figure – $197.79 to be exact – rests on the value of the assessed value of the average home in Saanich currently set at $679,424. This year’s tax share for the CRD rose $12.83 from last year’s figure.

Overall, the CRD is directly collecting $464,830 in additional property tax money from Saanich residents to help fund operating costs – an increase of 5.38 per cent.

When calculations include debt servicing and the Capital Regional Hospital District, the average total bill has risen to $451.77 from $416.59 in 2016.

Looking at the larger picture, CRD operations account for $238.2 million, up from $217.8 million.

CRD’s capital budget meanwhile jumped by 50 per cent to $157.2 million thanks to several infrastructure projects, including recently approved upgrades to the regional sewage system, the Core Area Liquid Waste Management project.

CRD board members approved the increase unanimously.

“A lot of people don’t realize how much infrastructure the CRD has,” said Coun. Judy Brownoff. “So like everybody else, we have to invest in that capital.”

The total cost of the project is $765 million and this year’s share ($65.5 million) accounts for nearly half of this year’s CRD capital budget.

Brownoff said the regional sewage project represents a provincial mandate. “A lot of people don’t understand a lot of services are mandated by the province,” she said.

Other major capital projects include a regional 911 emergency call centre based in Saanich ($16 million) and various projects to improve water quality ($28.3 million).

Compared to other CRD municipalities, Saanich taxpayers face a relatively modest increase in their taxes.

Residents of some municipalities – especially in suburban member communities – will see double-digit requisitions with View Royal facing an increase of almost 18 per cent. Colwood pay 13.73 more, while Langford will pay 14.67 per cent more.

Among core communities, Saanich falls somewhere in the middle with an increase of 5.38 in requisition. While that figure is lower than Oak Bay (6.66 per cent), it is higher than Victoria’s share of 3.36 per cent.

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