VicPD K9 police service dogs Bondo and Maverick have a tug of war in the summer. The department is contracting out its K9 unit to West Shore RCMP to create revenue and reduce its overall budget request from the City of Victoria. Photo courtesy VicPD

New construction revenue in Victoria to reduce property tax increase

VicPD’s K9 unit contracted out to West Shore RCMP to reduce budget

Thanks to expected tax revenues from newly constructed buildings and cost savings in the police department and elsewhere, the City of Victoria has dropped its property tax increase projection for 2018 to 2.61 per cent.

That’s down from the 2.77-per-cent hike previously projected and further from the original figure of 2.8 per cent, which included utility fees. City council’s 2018-19 budget deliberations are due to wrap up Thursday (Jan. 11).

Council proposed allocating a portion of the estimated $2 million in property tax revenue collected from new buildings to reduce the tax increase. The remainder of that new assessed revenue will see $500,000 put into the City’s reserve fund, $717,000 into other programs and $548,000 toward policing.

Mayor Lisa Helps hopes the tax hike can be further reduced when BC Assessment comes back with the finalized numbers for new builds in March. If those numbers are higher than estimated, the added revenue realized will go to cutting the property tax increase even further.

“We heard really clearly during public engagement that [people are] generally really happy with the service they’re getting, and with any new assessed revenue, that we use it to either lower the property tax impact or save for the future,” Helps said.

“This direction to further reduce the tax impact comes directly from … listening to the public, based on the feedback from the budget survey.”

Other savings in the budget come from cuts to original $55-million police budget, representing savings of $371,000. Requests to fund a Real Time Intelligence Centre (RTIC) at $143,668 were withdrawn, and $228,000 less was budgeted for additional staff.

Although the police are asking for less money to fund operations, there will be no changes in their access to service.

VicPD will contract out its K9 Unit to West Shore RCMP, and use that revenue to partially fund staffing increases, which includes the hiring of six new officers. The RCMP will continue to provide VicPD access to RTIC services at no cost for an extra year.

Helps said she doesn’t anticipate any further reductions to City programs already pre-approved during budget workshops held over the last several months.

Council will be approving the 2018 financial plan at 7 p.m. Thursday.

You can read more about the budget at

Just Posted

Artists craft Souper Bowls in Cedar Hill studio

Souper Bowls of Hope supports urban youth

Six stories a non-starter at Sidney’s Cedarwood Inn site

Site redevelopment plans go back to the drawing board

Mount Douglas Mathletes enjoying success by the numbers

Saanich Grade 9s walk away with top five spots in Island math competition

Songhees Wellness Centre event immersed in Indigenous cuisine and culture

Camosun and Songhees cook together for reconciliation while fundraising for student scholarship fund at March 23 event

Victoria Women’s Expo showcases the latest trends

Over 100 vendors feature lots of beauty, health, food, jewelry products and more

Celebrating our transit drivers on their day

March 18 is International Transit Driver Appreciation Day

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

World Cups soccer festival coming to Lochside Park

Victoria’s long running youth soccer festival, the Peninsula Co-op World Cups Soccer… Continue reading

LETTER: Lowered voting age would engage youth in political process

Saanich high school student supports giving a vote to 16-year-olds

Canadian comic Mike MacDonald dies at 63

Ottawa-born comedian had performed on David Letterman

B.C. VIEWS: Speculation tax, cabin tax or asset tax?

Targeting empty homes seems confused and ineffective

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Most Read