Central Saanich will approve their five year financial plan next week with a 3.11 per cent increase for residential properties for 2014.
The financial plan was presented by Central Saanich Director of Financial Services, Rosalyn Tanner, at a public meeting on March 24. The first three readings of the bylaw have already been passed and the plan is expected to have its final adoption during a regular council meeting on Monday, April 7.
The 2014 financial plan maintains current service levels and continues major projects from 2013 including the integrated stormwater management plan, the pavement management plan, the Centennial Park Core Redevelopment project and general facilities maintenance, said Tanner.
The 3.11 per cent increase, which works out to about a $50 hike for each household this year, will help fund increases to the District’s reserve funds, specifically the general reserve earmarked for future expansion, as well as the maintenance and extension of infrastructure assets like vehicle fleet replacements and water and sewer main upgrades and general inflationary increases.
On the budget decrease list this year are police services with a 4.35 per cent decrease in expenses (just over $210,000) and the engineering, public works and transportation services department with a 3.10 per cent decrease (just over $133,000).
The fire services department and the planning, building and bylaw enforcement department will both see increases of .86 per cent ($10,800) and 3.71 percent (just over $192,000), respectively.
Business properties will see a 3.12 per cent increase on their tax rates, something which Tanner said the municipality has worked hard to do over the last few years.
“We’ve been able to keep the light industrial rates low which encourages business and says to industry ‘come in to our municipality’.”
Central Saanich’s municipal revenue is made up primarily of property tax which accounts for 61.14 per cent of the District’s annual revenue.