City of Victoria’s tax increase lowered to 3.25 per cent

Additional cuts made to bring figure down for 2012

Some budget trimming has brought some relief for Victoria taxpayers.

Instead of the 3.5-per-cent property tax increase planned for, city council approved a reduction to a 3.25-per-cent hike.

The reduction is due to some cost-cutting measures.

First, council members agreed to eliminate their catered lunches for meetings that run overtime, for a savings of $12,000. Then last week, they approved additional cuts to contracted services ($30,000) and the administrative police budget ($150,000).

The city was also pleasantly surprised by a $68,000 drop in the Greater Victoria Public Libraries’ funding request.

In total, the items save taxpayers $260,000.

“I’m deliriously happy,” said Coun. Marianne Alto, whose first attempt to convince her colleagues to make the cuts failed. “Do I think we could cut more? Yes I do.”

Council also signalled to staff that it wants future tax increases to be no higher than 3.25 per cent.

rholmen@vicnews.com