Esquimalt council downsizing proposed property tax increase

Continued paring of budget leaves more in pot for contingency funds

Esquimalt’s proposed property tax increase is plummeting like a broken elevator.

Council was ecstatic about four scenarios presented by staff last week that ranged from 2.49 to 1.73 per cent.

“This is the work of miracles,” Coun. Tim Morrison said of the proposed increases, which he called “unprecedented in recent memory.”

A tax hike at the top end of the range would allow the township to put $173,000 into a reserve fund to cover potential policing transition costs, if the provincial government approves Esquimalt’s request to contract services to the RCMP.

That scenario would also restore the municipality’s capital projects reserve and contingency funds to previous levels. A 2.49-per-cent increase would see homeowners pay an extra $56 on average, while businesses would face a $239 increase.

To lighten the business tax burden, staff said $63,000 in tax revenue needn’t be collected in the business property tax class if council were to choose the 2.49-per-cent scenario.

In a four to three vote, council nixed the idea.

Though that scenario “gives you a little bit of candy in every corner,” Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said, more details are needed.

“I don’t know that (the $63,000 reduction is) going to have significant impact on the businesses,” she said.

One of the other options given was a 2.21-per-cent hike, under which homeowners would shell out $50 more, while businesses would pay a $212 increase. That level of increase would still bolster the capital projects and contingency funds.

Staff have been asked for additional tax-rate packages. Council must sign off on the township’s 2012 municipal budget by mid-May.

emccracken@vicnews.com

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

Just Posted

Public hearing coming for Victoria police officer accused of sexual misconduct

Police watchdog hearing follows VPD investigation into allegations

Lawyer says substitute teacher fought sexual urges for 30 years

Former Victoria badminton coach Harry Charles Sadd to be sentenced for sexual abuse of boys

Original Victoria Clipper vessel sails one last time

Vessel sold to buyers in Gabon, Central Africa

Extreme Weather Protocol kicks in as cold night forecast for Victoria

A total of 472 shelter spaces open across Greater Victoria

Saanich police search for alleged UVic Bookstore thief

Anyone who recognizes the man is asked to contact police

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

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

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

Island wildlife rescue centre sees 9 poisoned birds since January

MARS trying to fundraise for ‘rigorous and expensive’ lead poisoning treatment

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

Most Read