I read with some dismay that the Town of Sidney will be but just one of many municipalities which will increase property taxes to raise more revenue when we have all seen our property tax assessments for 2022
According to BC Assessment, the average assessment in B.C. has increased by 38.7 per cent over 2021.In other words, municipalities on average will get an automatic 38.7 per cent increase in revenue from property taxes if they do nothing with the overall mill rate.
To illustrate - and this is by far not a worst-case scenario - let’s look at my situation.I live in a two-storey condo in North Saanich. In 2021 the gross assessment of the 20 units was $8,132,000. In 2022 the gross assessment of the 20 units is $9,289,400, an increase of $1,157,400.
In 2021 the tax mill rate before grant adjustments in North Saanich based upon my tax bill was $4.415/$100,000 of assessment. Applying the 2021 tax rate to the increase in assessments alone, North Saanich will collect an additional $5,100 in taxes as a windfall due solely to assessment increases in this building which ranged from a low of 7.3 per cent to a high of 24.3 per cent. Any increase by council will be additive.
Responsible municipal governments have to realize that market forces will eventually result in property taxes forcing people out of their homes if they do not keep spending in check.
Back in the day, one Chemainus council member in 2006 said that if people couldn’t afford their taxes they should consider selling and moving or putting in an illegal suite but she was in favour of over six per cent year-over-year tax increases.
Is this the path forward local governments think is viable? Take the windfall revenues and call it a day.