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LETTER: Many factors impact Central Saanich tax rates

A recent article in the Peninsula News Review about Central Saanich’s tax rates was unfortunately misleading for readers. The article looked at a scenario where municipal residential tax rates were compared and stated Central Saanich’s rate was among the highest; however, every municipality is different and comparisons of residential tax rates are oversimplified. The comparison to North Saanich was inaccurate and, also, not an apples-to-apples comparison.

If we look at the total property taxes paid on an average home, of the 163 B.C. municipalities, Central Saanich ranks at 138 lowest of the 163, and ninth lowest in the CRD. Central Saanich also has the lowest light industry and business tax rates in the CRD, and are well below the median for the province. (According to the Province of B.C.’s 2022 local government statistics.)

The recent article only looks at residential tax rates, which are based on every $1,000 of an average home’s assessed value. In communities with higher home assessments, the tax rate is lower. Relative to many of the communities Central Saanich was compared against, Central Saanich home assessments are on the low end. Thus, to obtain the same amount of property tax paid by a home in Central Saanich as a community with higher assessments, our residential tax rate must be higher.

In addition, each municipality offers different services and funds programs in different ways, further, municipalities vary in terms of population, geography, infrastructure and property types (business, farm, residential, etc.). In Central Saanich, for example, more than 60 per cent of our land is agricultural. These are just some of the factors that impact tax rates.

Ryan Windsor

Mayor of Central Saanich

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