An aerial view of downtown Sidney. The Town of Sidney won third prize during the fifth annual Candy Cane Awards from the Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria for its financial decisions. (Black Press Media file photo)

An aerial view of downtown Sidney. The Town of Sidney won third prize during the fifth annual Candy Cane Awards from the Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria for its financial decisions. (Black Press Media file photo)

Town of Sidney wins advocacy group nod for financial decision-making

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria recognize the municipality’s tax policy, COVID-19 grant use

A local advocacy group has awarded the Town of Sidney a prize for its financial decision-making.

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria awarded the municipality third prize as part of its fifth annual Candy Cane Awards for holding what the group calls “the line on property taxes” earlier this year.

Council last month voted unanimously to use the 2020 taxes rate as starting point for yet-to-be-finalized tax rates in 2021. Council had earlier this spring decided to reduce business taxes by 10 per cent for 2020 to help local businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group also praised Sidney’s decision-making around a grant worth more than $2.75 million to help the municipality deal with the costs of COVID-19.

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

Council members last month voted unanimously to allocate $650,000 of the grant toward making up lost revenues and costs incurred in 2020 because of COVID. They also agreed to “tentatively set aside” $550,000 to maintain the current level of tax reductions for 2021 with a final decision to be made during 2021 budget deliberations, following an amendment by Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith.

“It’s implied in the first part of the motion, but I would like it to be crystal clear,” he said.

Councillors also agreed to set aside the rest of the grant for consideration during the 2021 budget process – with Coun. Terri O’Keeffe the lone voice of opposition – and hold off reviewing the existing ratio of property taxes paid by residential and business property owners respectively.

South Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP) won the Grumpy Taxpayer$’ first prize for what the group calls “successfully mobilizing leaders across the community to develop an economic development plan during the pandemic” after preparing a detailed report and holding a virtual conference drawing together decision-makers from British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon and Alaska, as well as the Canadian prairie provinces.

“The effectiveness of the SIPP partnership shows the power of working together as a region on our shared economic and social prosperity, most significantly during the perilous circumstances in which we find ourselves today,” said John Treleaven, chair of the advocacy group.

SIPP includes 65 public and private-sector partners in Greater Victoria, including 11 local governments, nine First Nations, three post-secondary institutions, nine industry associations and nonprofits, and more than 30 major employers.

Second prize went to the City of Victoria, a frequent target of the group, for improvements to Dallas Road, a popular scenic destination.

“The City of Victoria is to be commended for investing in our aging and critical infrastructure which is considered by residents as a prudent use of tax dollars,” Treleaven said.

RELATED: Cost estimates for new wall along Dallas Road build up to $3.85M


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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Seed and Stone rendering for White Rock, B.C. (Seed and Stone rendering)
Songhees Nation to open two Victoria cannabis stores spring 2021

Seed and Stone stores will open on Gordon Street and in the Bay Centre

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Dallas Road

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Muddy Valley Farm in rural Saanich is calling for witnesses after its large metal gate was stolen overnight on Monday, Jan. 18. (Muddy Valley Farm/Facebook)
Rural Saanich farm reports large metal gate stolen

Muddy Valley Farm gate stolen overnight by ‘at least two people’

In January, six flights with cases of COVID-19 onboard have landed at the Victoria International Airport so far. (Black Press Media file photo)
Two new COVID-19 exposures reported on flights to Victoria

A Jan. 10 flight from Toronto and Jan. 11 flight from Calgary were affected

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

Most Read