Central Saanich farmers receiving extra bill

Mistake in school tax rates means correction needed to make up difference

Some Central Saanich taxpayers recently learned they owed more on their property taxes than they were billed for earlier this year.

According to Coun. Cathie Ounsted, the school tax rates for the billing in May were incorrectly entered, which resulted in an incorrect rate being charged to all farm properties.

“Farms can expect to see a new tax bill (from the municipality) if they haven’t already, but since ALR is taxed at such a low rate, the bills are very, very small,” she said.

“In fact, (Mayor Alastair Bryson) got his last week and I think it was about $25.”

The decision to re-bill the farm class properties rather than simply write off the balance was made because farm properties provincewide have to be taxed the same way, Ounsted said.

Coun. Zeb King was concerned that farmers would be faced with the new bills right around harvest time.

“This is right around the time of the Saanich Fair and harvest time for a lot of the farms here and they’re going to be faced with paying a bill. This was a municipal mistake, but taxpayers still have to pay for it,” he said.

More than 60 per cent of Central Saanich is zoned as Agricultural Land Reserve, not including rurally-zoned farms.

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

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