Esquimalt holding the line on taxes in 2012

Council gives proposed property tax increase the boot

Esquimalt’s new favourite number is zero.

Council agreed in principle Monday night not to raise municipal property taxes this year.

The news comes just weeks after council agreed in principle to a 2.49-per-cent tax hike.

Nick Kovaks, co-chair of the Esquimalt Residents Association, hopes this achievement will attract more families, business owners and developers to the community.

“It sends a message out that we’re looking to do things more efficiently. It gives a tax break to residents and it ties in quite nicely with Esquimalt’s message of ‘We’re open for business, we’re open for development, come on in,’” he said.

Coun. Dave Hodgins agreed it is another step toward further enhancing the township’s reputation. “What drove the process was hearing from the public and the business community that we need to be competitive with our tax rates,” he said.

The zero-per-cent increase is largely thanks to “conservative budgeting and budget efficiencies in 2011, which allowed us to appropriate some surplus funds from 2011,” said Laurie Hurst, Esquimalt’s chief administrative officer.

Budgeting is done conservatively, in part, because of the uncertainty around assessed values of federal properties in the township, and the timing of federal tax payments, she said.

Highlights in the municipality’s 2012 budget include bolstering its capital projects reserve and contingency funds, setting aside funds for potential police transition costs, doing additional Craigflower Road upgrades and sewer upgrades and developing a multi-modal transportation plan.

Not having to raise municipal property taxes is reflective of a lot of hard work, Mayor Barb Desjardins said.

“How wonderful to have it happen on our hundredth birthday,” she said. “It is a birthday present to us and to the residents of Esquimalt.”

Esquimalt’s 2012 budget is expected to receive formal adoption on Monday (May 14).

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

WATCH: Our Place Therapeutic Recovery Community turns into a ‘place of healing’

500 volunteers, 120 businesses worked to transform View Royal community

A party for 11 pups and their adoptive families in Beckwith Park in Saanich

The coonhound siblings reunited at a barbeque on Saturday

HarbourCats bats hot in home return

Victoria squad downs Yakima Valley Pippins 17-2

Victoria veteran receives French Legion of Honour, becoming knight of France

Ted Vaughan was a pilot in the 408 “Goose” Squadron in WW2

Witness the passion and fire of flamenco in Victoria this July

Seventh annual Victoria Flamenco Festival features free and ticketed performances downtown

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Most Read