Proposed budget brings 3.25 per cent boost in taxes

Average Saanich homeowner will pay $116 more in 2016, once sewage, water and refuse is factored in

Saanich’s finance department released its proposed 2016 financial plan with a 3.25 per cent tax hike for homeowners.

The 3.25 per cent is broken down as a 1.66 per cent increase for core municipal and police operations ($1.77 million), a 0.87 per cent increase for capital replacements ($932,900), 0.58 per cent for resource requests ($621,150), and 0.14 per cent ($145,840) for the Greater Victoria Public Library.

It means average Saanich homeowners are projected to pay about $116 more in 2016, once sewage, water and refuse is factored in. Last year Saanich homeowners saw an average hike of $168.

Overall the budget isn’t grotesque, said Mayor Richard Atwell.

“We’re not hearing from residents to cut services to make taxes lower,” he said.

A reduced police budget is being credited for trimming what would have been a far higher increase for taxpayers.

Saanich Police had originally brought forward a budget proposal with a 6.8 per cent increase for 2016.

“Police responded to our request that they limit their increase to no more than 3.5 per cent,” said Coun. Vic Derman. “Yes they’re extremely important but it has to be affordable.”

Moving forward, Derman said the goal is for Saanich Police to keep its growth at less than 3.5 per cent in future years, as that number is still higher than the average growth of any other department within Saanich.

Saanich Police spending will jump to $30.8 million in 2016, up $920,000 from 2015. Most of the increase represents the same growth built into many of the collective bargaining agreements Saanich has with union employees.

Among the key capital expenditures in 2016 are the $5.9 million Wilkinson Road Bridge replacement and $3.6 million in wood stave replacements. Saanich is replacing the final sections of wood stave stormwater pipes.

Saanich’s 2016 budget estimates bringing in $251,533,700 in revenue against $251,533,700 in expenses. The district employs close to 1,600 full-time, part-time and auxiliary employees.



Just Posted

Oak Bay police issued these surveillance images after a theft from the Cork & Barrel liquor store. The bottle of stolen whisky was valued at $4,636.99. (Courtesy Oak Bay Police Department)
Suspect swipes $5,000 bottle of whisky from Oak Bay liquor shop

Fiat towed after driver fails field sobriety test

Victoria police found and returned this tricycle to a local graphics company after it was reported stolen in downtown Victoria last week. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
UPDATE: Police find stolen tricycle, return it to Victoria company

The three-wheeler was taken from the 2100-block of Store Street on June 17

The Jordie Lunn Bike Park officially opened in Langford on June 22. (Kiernan Green/Black Press Media)
Tires hit the dirt for Jordie Lunn Bike Park opening in Langford

Legendary local rider remembers by family, friends

Swanwick Ranch in Metchosin, featuring an award-winning home on 67 acres of property overlooking the ocean, recently sold for a record-setting, yet undisclosed amount. (Sotheby’s International Realty Canada photo)
Sale of oceanfront property in Metchosin yields new record for Greater Victoria

Listed at $14.1 million, Swanwick Ranch sold to an undisclosed buyer

Esquimalt businesses will be no longer be able to provide single-use plastic bags at the checkout counter come August as the municipality looks to curb the volume of soft plastics winding up in the landfill. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prepares to launch plastic checkout bag ban this summer

Bylaw takes effect Aug. 16, businesses will be unable to provide single-use plastic bags

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Point Roberts is part of the mainland United States but not physically connected to it, to reach the community by land one must pass through Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Closed Canadian border leaves Point Roberts’ only grocery store on verge of closure

‘We’re Americans but we’re not attached to America. It’s so easy to forget we’re here,’ says owner Ali Hayton of Point Roberts, Wash.

The Somass Sawmill sits idle in early May 2021. While the kilns have been in use occasionally, and the lot has been used to store woodchips this spring, the mill has been curtailed since July 27, 2017. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni to expropriate Somass Sawmill from Western Forest Products

Sawmill has been ‘indefinitely’ curtailed since 2017

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

B.C. conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said a black bear is believed to have killed local livestock. (THE NEWS/files)
Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Trap set for predator that has been killing livestock

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

People enjoy the sun at Woodbine Beach on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
BC Hydro assures customers it has ‘more than enough’ power to weather the heatwave

Despite an increase of pressure on the Western grid, blackouts are not expected like in some U.S. states

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pilots say no reason to continue quarantines for vaccinated international travellers

Prime minister says Canada still trying to limit number of incoming tourists

Most Read