Council Tuesday concluded budget deliberations by signing off on a property tax increase of 3.07 per cent among other measures.

Saanich raises property taxes by 3.07 per cent during final budget talks

Saanich property taxes will go up by 3.07 per cent as council wrapped up budget deliberations this week.

“This is an honest budget,” said Coun. Susan Brice. “3.07 per cent is what it is going to take to run this municipality.”

She made these comments before councillors unanimously approved the figure. Initial budget discussions started with a 4.17 per increase in revenue from property taxes.

“We have done our best to get down to a number where we can go out to the public and justify it,” said Coun. Colin Plant. “While it is greater than the Consumer Price Index, this is what it takes to have our community.”

Plant used the occasion to repeat previous concerns about the ratio between the share of taxes from businesses and residential properties. Saanich, he said, will have to have a fundamental discussion about its long-term economic future.

“What is our fundamental business?” he asked.

Council approved the figure of 3.07 per cent after it had deliberated a number of issues, including the police budget.

The board overseeing local police had rejected a request from Saanich council to cut back the 2018 police budget. Saanich councillors last month asked the police board to revise its provisional budget, which had called for a tax hike of 4.63 per cent because of changing policing needs that require six additional staff.

Following some back-and-forth, the municipality approved what councillors had previously called a “status quo” budget with an increase of 3.81 per cent in the police budget. But that term is somewhat misleading, because it has led to the elimination of one civilian position.

Mayor Richard Atwell, who voted against the figure of 3.81 per cent, said the police board will now have to work with this figure.

Council approved the figure of 3.07 per cent after nearly two months of actual deliberations preceded by a longer period of preparation.

One of the questions heading into the final vote was whether support for the budget would be unanimous. That question resolved itself when Coun. Karen Harper said that she would not be voting against it.

While Saanich could have done more to ease the future tax burden, she said it had made “significant progress” in bringing down the proposed increase.

“On this basis, I won’t be voting against it, and hopefully the numbers are not going to change in the upward direction when we come to our next meeting,” she said, in alluding to comments from staff that budget figures could yet change between now and May 7, the scheduled date for final adoption of financial plan and tax rate bylaws.

Just Posted

Pedestrain struck on Quadra Street

A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on Quadra Street at Hulford… Continue reading

Victoria airport workers rally on Tuesday

Food service workers call for improved working conditions

Police respond after dog left in vehicle at the movies

West Shore RCMP determined the animal was not in distress

BC Nurses Union calls for decriminalization of opioids

BCNU president wants the federal government to do more to reduce preventable deaths

Saanich grants public hearing to senior housing proposal

Five-storey rental apartment would add 39 units near Cuthbert Holmes Park

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Former Vike returns to lead women’s rowing program

Williams rowed for UVic, Oxford and Canada

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

Most Read