Saanich’s tax burden below regional average

Saanich’s tax burden below regional average

A report finds Saanich’s per-capita tax burden has historically been lower than the tax burden compared to the rest of the region.

This finding appears in the audit findings report that KPMG presented to Saanich council Monday.

“The average total tax burden for local governments in the CRD [Capital Regional District] has increased from approximately $904 in 2013 to approximately $1,003 in 2016, at an average rate of 4.9% per year,” the report reads. “The District’s [per-capita] tax burden has increased from approximately $806 in 2013 to approximately $940 in 2017, at a slightly lower average rate of 2.8% per year.”

As for the reasons, the report points to a number of factors. “The differences to the average of the peer group may be the result of a number of factors such as lean overhead, efficient operations and variety in how services are charged between peers, such as through user charge or tax levy,” it reads.

“The document shows Saanich in a good light in my mind,” said Coun. Colin Plant Monday, as council received the report and forwarded its recommendation to staff.

This receipt took place after council had read various financial bylaws for a final time, including the 2018-2022 financial bylaw and the tax rates bylaw establishing a property tax rate of 3.07 per cent.

This figure equals a $77 increase for the average existing homeowner in Saanich. Overall, Saanich homeowners with averaged assessed homes of around $878,400 will each pay $2,594 for the Saanich portion of the property tax. Note that this figure is based on assessment, rather than per capita.

Mayor Richard Atwell said Tuesday in a release that the budget allows Saanich to “provide a comprehensive set of services and prioritized capital projects” to meet the needs of residents. “For 2018, [council] has delivered a financial plan that keeps tax increases to a minimum while balancing the need to invest and plan for future expenses.”