Esquimalt taxes affected by outside forces

I am quite satisfied with how municipal council has dealt with our community’s budgetary issues over the past couple of years.

As a municipality with a large residential tax base, most Esquimalt residents accept they will likely pay more tax per household than other Greater Victoria municipalities.

In exchange for that, we have a great public works department, unbeatable parks and superb facilities in the form of the Archie Browning Sports Centre and the Esquimalt Recreation Centre.

And if the choice is between paying $78 more and losing any of our services or facilities, or laying off any of the municipal staff, then I will happily fork over the extra money.

That said, what does irk me are the things outside of Esquimalt council’s control.

First, we still have little control over our policing and its budget, thanks to the provincial government’s ill-advised and ultimately abortive attempt to amalgamate Greater Victoria police services.

Secondly, we will potentially be forced to pay higher transit levies to support light rail that bypasses our community and one of the largest employers in the region – the Department of National Defence.

Finally, Esquimalt residents seem to pay a very large Capital Regional District levy relative to the services received (which so far as I am aware consists of access to Hartland landfill, the reservoir and a seriously mediocre recycling pickup).

Esquimalt council is doing a perfectly fine job. It’s the CRD and the provincial government that need to do better.

Mike Baker

Esquimalt