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Tax time in Central Saanich

CENTRAL SAANICH — A proposed $56 more for the year — or a 2.96 per cent residential tax increase — is currently on the table at the District of Central Saanich.

Add in water and sewer utility charges this year and residents will pay approximately 3.18 per cent more than last year.

The 2017 budget and updated five-year financial plan are on the table this month. The District is saying this year’s proposed tax increase will pay for such things as infrastructure replacement, policing, municipal operations and library services.

The 2017 Budget will enable the municipality to continue to make progress toward strategic priorities and maintain service levels. In an email to the PNR, Paul Murray, director of financial services for the District of Central Saanich said the budget balances $28 million in municipal revenues with $28 million in municipal operating and capital expenses.

A tax increase — combining municipal and library taxes — is proposed and includes funding to move on strategic priorities of council, such as the Year of Reconciliation program, a new website, membership in the South Island Prosperity Project, the Keating Business District, Multi-family Densification Planning and Brentwood Bay Waterfront Regulations.

For 2017, Murray said, all municipal departments will be able to absorb the impact of rising costs with a modest impact on tax revenue requirements.

Operating costs continue to be managed within reasonable levels, he stated, and includes contingencies for wages and benefits contracts.

The Central Saanich Police Board and Greater Victoria Public Library Board will be presenting their budgets during the process as well.

Water and sewer rates will be considered this month.

A new Infrastructure Levy in the District is proposed to clearly identify infrastructure replacement costs and align with the proposed Sustainable Asset Management Plan.

The plan envisions a gradual increase in capital renewal investment over 15 years, combined with a focus on condition assessment and leveraging of improved maintenance and construction techniques.

Budget presentations begin Feb. 21 and 28. The Asset Management Program and capital budgets will be considered March 7.

— District of Central Saanich

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