Sidney council makes 2020 business tax cuts permanent heading into 2021. (Black Press Media Staff).

Sidney council makes 2020 business tax cuts permanent heading into 2021. (Black Press Media Staff).

Sidney council makes 2020 business tax cuts permanent heading into 2021

Council agreed to review taxation rates on the basis of 2020 business rates

Sidney council continues to prepare the ground for changes to its municipal tax policy in favour of businesses.

Council voted unanimously to use the 2020 taxes rate as starting point for yet-to-be-finalized tax rates in 2021. Council had earlier this spring decided to reduce business taxes by 10 per cent for 2020 to help local businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council’s most recent tax move makes that cut permanent for the foreseeable future with potential other changes in the works as staff are currently working toward ways of easing the tax burden of non-residential properties (minus recreational marinas) with a corresponding shift toward residential properties.

But this most recent move will also force the municipality to find an additional $300,000 to what make up the ‘lost’ revenue.

According to a presentation last month from Andrew Hicik, Sidney’s director of corporate services and chief financial officer, residential properties account for 87 per cent of Sidney’s assessed properties, they “only pay” 73 per cent of property taxes. “Whereas commercial properties make up only 11 per cent of the assessment base, but they roughly pay twice that in terms of taxation,” he said.

RELATED: Sidney plans 10 per cent break on commercial taxes, zero increase for general property

Owners of light industrial and commercial properties paid 2.44 dollars in municipal property taxes for every dollar paid by owner of residential properties in 2020 under the amended rates.

This difference would have been even higher had council reverted to the pre-cut rates of 2019 when the multiple was almost three-to-one to the detriment of light industrial and commercial property owners.

According to the report, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businessses, a pro-business lobby group, has been advocating for a commercial multiple of two. Sidney currently does not use the multiple method to divide up the tax burden. It (like all municipalities with some minor exceptions) currently collects a stable share of taxes from each class of property owners, with residential and commercial properties being the two largest category. The categories of utilities, light industrial and recreational properties make up negligible shares.

Discussion among councillors so far has pointed toward a broad but not necessarily unanimous desire to lower the burden on light industrial and commercial property owners against the specific backdrop of COVID-19 but also the more general wish to keep Sidney competitive.

Coun. Terri O’Keeffe worried earlier this month that Sidney’s proposed direction may have a detrimental effect on residential payers, especially younger families with children. She voted against using the 2020 rates during committee-of-the-whole earlier this month.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Sidney

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Staff Sgt. Darrell Underwood and Ian Gibbs, coordinator of volunteers for the Saanich Police Department, stand in front of the new Saanich Community Safety Office at Uptown Shopping Centre. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich police call on volunteers for new community safety team

Community Safety Office to open spring 2021 at Uptown Shopping Centre

Laura Campbell was one of eight people to receive the Community Living BC Widening Our World award in 2020. (Courtesy of Laura Campbell)
Victoria woman earns provincial award for work with differently abled adults

Widening our World awards recognize community, inclusivity building

Aerial view of the Capital Regional District’s wastewater treatment facility at McLoughlin Point. (Photo courtesy CRD)
PHOTOS: Check out Greater Victoria’s new wasterwater treatment facilities

Long-awaited project has been up and running since late 2020

Learning tools from the Garth Homer Society’s LifeStreams program have gone online. (Facebook/Garth Homer Society)
Online platform launched for Greater Victoria adults with developmental disabilities

Platform includes programs, events, activities and COVID-19 resources

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich police, GVERT arrest suspect in West Shore investigation

Man arrested near Rutledge Park early Saturday morning

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

Most Read