Average Saanich homeowners will see their tax bills rise anywhere between $187 and $208, depending on council’s decisions. (Black Press File).

Average Saanich homeowners will see their tax bills rise anywhere between $187 and $208, depending on council’s decisions. (Black Press File).

Saanich residents face taxlift between 4.78 and 5.58 per cent

Budget discussions continue Tuesday

Average Saanich homeowners will see their tax bills rise anywhere between $187 and $208.

These figures emerge from a report that staff has presented for councillors as their budget deliberations continue Tuesday.

The lower figure reflects the increase if Saanich were to adopt budget revisions to the police budget and other items without adding any additional requests to the budget. The higher figure reflects the increase if Saanich were to adopt prior budget revisions while adding all additional requests.

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During budget discussions, councillors trimmed the proposed increase of the police budget to 3.55 per cent. They also approved various cuts that lowered the proposed increase for the average homeowner by $29 to $187, an increase of 3.28 per cent from the previous year.

Inclusive the Employers Health Tax (EHT), Saanich would increase revenues from property taxes by 4.78 per cent, if councillors were to approve the budget without any future changes.

But this scenario is unlikely as councillors have expressed varying degrees of support for additional funding requests that would add additional staff to various departments, including information technology, planning and bylaw enforcement among others, as well as commit funds to Truth and Reconciliation, special events (Strawberry Festival), media monitoring, citizens survey, Haro Woods management, and implementation of Saanich’s older adult strategy.

When added up, the requests total $965,780, representing a total tax increase of 0.8 per cent. If all adopted, Saanich homeowners would see the municipal, police and library portion of their property tax bill rise by 4.08 per cent (rather than 3.28 per cent).

Inclusive the EHT, Saanich would increase revenues from property taxes by 5.58 per cent.

All budget decisions are not final, as councillors have been meeting as committee-of-the-whole.


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