Victoria City Council has released their draft Strategic Plan and draft Financial Plan for public discussion (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff).

City of Victoria releases draft 2019 budget

The draft Financial Plan and the draft Strategic Plan are now online for public review

The City of Victoria is seeking public input on its final draft Financial Plan and draft Strategic Plan.

For over a month mayor and council have been reviewing both documents, which are now up for public discussion.

“We really want to hear from the community what they feel the direction should be for Victoria over the next four years,” said Mayor Lisa Helps in a statement. “On behalf of City council, I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to dive deep on the draft budget and strategic plan, and let us know what they think the priorities should be.”

ALSO READ: City of Victoria considers offering childcare options at City Hall

The draft 2019 budget aims for a budget of $244.7 million, which includes for the first time $2 million for the required employer health tax for City workers, which will replace MSP rates.

The province requires all employers whose payroll exceeds $500,000 or more to cover this cost, and the City of Victoria employee payroll costs over $1.5 million.

The plans also have a capital budget of $118 million, which includes major projects like the replacement of Crystal Pool, a new Fire Hall #1, and the bike master plan. Annual capital budget funding is in part funded by property taxes.

ALSO READ: The City of Victoria considers a $500 rent cap for tiny homes

The overall tax increase will be 4.3 per cent, which includes 1.45 per cent for the Provincial Health Tax. The total tax increase without the Health Tax for 2019-2023 is therefore 2.85 per cent. Combined with utility fees, the overall impact to taxpayers is 3.76 per cent.

For an average household (estimated value of $743,000) this means estimated property and utility taxes for water, sewage, solid waste and stormwater will total to $3,497. This proposed increase will see total funds from property taxes in the 2019 budget to be $11.2 million.

ALSO READ: City of Victoria considers disposable straw ban

Priorities and issues outlined in the budget include supporting small businesses, creating affordable housing options and creating active transportation options.

Support for arts, culture and events will see a $1.5 million investment, while $5.5 million will go to continued funding for the Central and James Bay sxweŋxwәŋ tәŋәxw Greater Victoria Public Library branches.

Infrastructural investments include $34 million in parks, recreation and facilities, and $975,000 to improve city streets.

For emergency services, $57 million is allotted to police, $17.6 to fire services and $1.9 million to bylaw officers.

The City also has climate change commitments, including a goal to see an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and “a shift form GHG-intensive fossil fuels to 100 per cent renewable energy” by 2050.

The City would also like to invest $580,000 to see an improvement in emergency preparedness and management strategies.

ALSO READ: Victoria considers instating Sunday parking fees to subsidize youth transit passes

The 800-page 2019 budget and 23-page draft strategic plan are both available online at victoria.ca.

There will also be a Budget Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be interactive and webcast live.

Residents can also take an online survey in regards to the draft budget and the draft Strategic Plan until Jan. 20. The survey can be found at victoria.ca/budget.

City council will consider the draft plans and all public input received in early February.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Esquimalt council approves building, dog areas for Gorge Park

$7 million in funding for waterfront improvements goes to multipurpose building and dog park

PHOTOS: Trangender flag raised for first time ever outside of B.C. Legislature

Nov. 20 marks Transgender Day of Remembrance, honouring those who have been murdered

Plant-based pizza restaurant to open its doors in Victoria this December

Virtuous Pie has locations in Vancouver, Toronto and Portland

BC Ferries’ two new hybrid vessels set sail for B.C. from Romania

Two Island Class ferries to be in use by 2020

Ocean swim challenge shines spotlight on Crystal Pool plight

Ultra-marathon swimmer sends tongue-in-cheek invite to Victoria council

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

B.C. won’t appeal decision protecting ICBC court experts

Change to evidence rules next to save money, David Eby says

1898 Yukon gold rush photo featuring Greta Thunberg look-alike sends internet into tailspin

Jokes erupted this week after a 120-year-old photo taken by Eric A. Hegg surfaced from archives

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

CN Rail strike and lack of trucking alternatives stoke forest industry fears

Companies calling on the federal government to ‘do everything in its power’ to end the strike

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

Pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era goes to Chrystia Freeland

Most Read