Saanich’s 2019 budget and tax rate is all but done and dusted.
Council Monday read and passed a series of bylaws including the 2019 financial plan and the municipal tax rate. Final adoption is scheduled for May 13.
“I think this is a financial bylaw that resonates on the things that we all saw in the community, not just in the election, but also in the community feedback from our survey,” said Mayor Fred Haynes.
The municipal tax rate determines the amount of revenue that Saanich raises through property taxes. This amount will go up by 5.2 per cent — reduced from 5.37 per cent after Saanich received more than $200,000 in additional revenue. It means the average Saanich homeowner (based on assessed home value) will pay an additional $134.51. Almost a third of this increase goes towards covering the Employers’ Health Tax.
Saanich’s financial bylaw includes a four per cent bump to water and sewer capital funding in support of infrastructure replacement, a four per cent increase in the Capital Regional District’s bulk water rate, and additional borrowing of $1.55 million in 2020 and 2021 for the regional wastewater treatment plant.
Council is also set to borrow $5.7 million for Saanich-specific capital projects involving storm drainage, transportation and parks.
Looking ahead, preliminary projections peg future property tax increases for operations at an average of 3.03 per cent starting in 2020 through 2023, with some wiggle room upwards for inflation.