OUR VIEW: Tax change is only fair

Balancing a budget is never easy for a municipality of any size, especially when faced with increased costs outside of its control.

Balancing a budget is never easy for a municipality of any size, especially when faced with increased costs outside of its control.

The Town of Sidney is facing that dilemma in its update of its five-year financial plan. General taxpayers are faced with a projected tax rate increase of 3.19 per cent — a rate that town staff say will most likely come down as they and council work through their priorities for 2013.

One way the town is exploring to get extra revenue is increasing its light industry (class 5) tax rate. Since 2008, that rate has dropped significantly — about a full percentage point below that paid by commercial taxpayers. Normally, it is the practice of B.C. municipalities to keep those levels equal, or perhaps higher for the light industrial property owners.

A lack of firm policies in place, market conditions and a provincial industry tax credit since 2009 have contributed to Sidney’s rate falling so far.

Now, the town wants it raised to get on par with their peers.

The proposed rate hike will bring in an estimated $80,000 if it’s done all at once. If raised over two years, that would be halved. That money would be used to help lower the overall general tax rate from 3.19 to 2.77 per cent.

If the town pursues this change, they need to take staff advice and put policies in place to ensure they don’t send local industrial property owners on a roller coaster ride. They, like the rest of Sidney business and residents, need certainty in their tax bill.

With only 10 light industrial taxpayers in West Sidney, the impact of this change will be felt by those businesses. Yet, they will end up paying what their commercial counterparts pay, and that’s only fair.

 

Just Posted

Food service workers at Victoria airport protest for second time in four months

Negotiations continue to drag on with employer Compass Group Canada, VAA refuses to engage

Firefighters rescue horse stuck in Saanich mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Esquimalt senior’s complex getting redeveloped

The Esquimalt Lions Lodge is one of the projects to receive funding for affordable housing

Island Corridor Foundation optimistic about restoring rail service

If green-lighted, first priority would be Langford to Victoria route

Federal environment minister faces protesters in B.C.

Catherine McKenna defended her government’s environmental record during a funding announcement in Victoria

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Dog psychic can help Vancouver Islanders better connect with their pets

Michele Wonnacott hosts one-day seminar in Nanaimo on Saturday, Nov. 17

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Most Read