The reinstatement of school taxes (which lies outside the control of municipalities) lead to a significant increase in the total amount of taxes paid by commercial property owners. (Black Press Media file photo)

The reinstatement of school taxes (which lies outside the control of municipalities) lead to a significant increase in the total amount of taxes paid by commercial property owners. (Black Press Media file photo)

Commercial property owners in Sidney face nearly 28% tax increase

Total tax bill for average commercial property will rise some $2,663 in 2021

The average residential household in Sidney will pay about $22 more in combined taxes than last year, while the average commercial property will pay in excess of $2,660 more.

These figures appear in a report as council prepares to adopt the tax rate bylaw for 2021 after councillors had approved a budget that raises revenue from municipal property taxes by 2.7 per cent.

Andrew Hicik, Sidney’s director of corporate services, said this “fairly significant” increase paid by commercial property owners is largely due to the provincial decision to reinstate the school tax to its full level prior to the COVID-19 pandemic after having made a significant one-time cut to help commercial property owners.

RELATED: Sidney cuts proposed tax increase to 2.7 per cent from starting point of 4.45 per cent

“With the discontinuation of this one-time reduction, there is a ($2,613.92) increase in (school tax) for the average commercial property, which makes up the vast majority of the overall increase of ($2,663.43)” he said.

The average commercial property paid in $9,643.76 in total taxes in 2020, up 27.62 per cent this year to $12,307.19.

“It is important to note that the 10 per cent reduction in municipal business taxes – which was the (municipality’s) response to the financial impacts of the pandemic on our commercial tax base – was carried forward to 2021,” said Hicik.

Hicik added that Sidney’s federal-provincial re-start grant (which totaled more than $2.75 million) made this decision easier.

RELATED: Sidney council makes 2020 business tax cuts permanent heading into 2021

The report sheds light on the mechanics and politics of tax collection, as Sidney also collects annual taxes for other authorities without any direct say about their levels.

The report notes that municipal taxes typically make up half of the annual total tax bill before the application of the home owner grant. Sidney sets its own municipal tax rates, as well as the rates for the Capital Regional District, the Regional Hospital and Vancouver Island Regional Library based on their respective budgets and Sidney’s share.

“For the remaining jurisdictions (school taxes, regional transit, B.C. Assessment and Municipal Finance Authority), Sidney has no input on the amounts to be collected, nor on the tax rates that apply,” it reads.

Overall, the municipality has complete control over only one of the eight taxes collected on the property tax notice, limited control over three others and no control at all over four.

The report shows that the average residential property will pay $29 less to other governments in 2021 than in 2020. Sidney’s decision to raise more revenue through property taxes and the water parcel tax adds up to an additional $51 in leading to the combined increase of $22 dollars, or an increase of 0.65 per cent from last year’s total tax bill (before rebates through a provincial home owner grant).

The report also draws attention to the fact that residential properties account for less property tax revenue (73 per cent) than their total share of assessed properties (87 per cent) as non-residential properties pay taxes at higher rates. While a recommended review of different property class rates was put on hold until after the 2021 rates were set, staff said they are ready to resume the review at any time, should council see this initiative as a priority.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Sidney

Just Posted

Howard English Hatchery volunteer Joscilyn Jupp poured one of many buckets of salmon fry into Douglas Creek on May 11, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
35,000 salmon fry released in Saanich park during closed event

Chum from Goldstream Hatchery trucked in to restore Douglas Creek salmon spawning

North Saanich has received a report from the Urban Development Institute calling on the municipality to expand and densify its housing options in the face of demographic and environmental changes as the municipality continues its Official Community Plan review. (Black Press Media file photo)
North Saanich asked to create more affordable, diverse housing

Urban Development Institute says community faces demographic, environmental challenges

The orange parcel was bought by the CRD for $1.1 million to add to Mount Work Regional Park. (CRD map)
Capital Regional District expands Mount Work land for $1.1 million

Privately-owned 13.8 hectares in the Highlands is ecologcically valuable

One woman has been arrested in connection with a drug trafficking investigation. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria woman arrested, car and drugs seized during trafficking investigation

Multiple units combine forces for investigation, arrest

Dog trainer Sharon Labossiere at play with her dogs. AnimalKind, the BC SPCA’s animal welfare accreditation and referral program, has granted accreditation to Sooke's Hanging with Hounds. (Contributed - BC SPCA)
Hanging With Hounds digs its paws into AnimalKind accreditation

Local dog trainer earns special BC SPCA status

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)
Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Nathan Zuk had left his mother’s residence in Whaletown on Cortes Island in mid-December 2020 in a 14’ skiff rowboat and headed to an unknown location near the Pryce Channel, Deer passage, or Toba Inlet. Photo courtesy RCMP
RCMP need help finding man who set off from Cortes Island in 14-foot rowboat

Nathan Zuk left in December, may have been last seen in Toba Inlet approximately three weeks ago

Emergency service workers at the collision scene along Highway 4 in Hilliers on Sunday, May 16. A motorcyclist was airlifted to hospital by BC Air Ambulance and later died. (Collin C photo)
UPDATE: Motorcyclist dies from injuries sustained in Mid-Island highway collision

BC Highway Patrol says impairment not a contributing factor in crash

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Most Read