Central Saanich council approved the budget for 2017 at Monday night’s meeting.
To the average homeowner, this means they will pay $56 more for the year, or a 2.96 per cent residential tax increase. Including water and sewer utility charges, residents will pay around 3.18 per cent more than 2016. The annual tax hike has an impact on homeowners for infrastructure replacement, policing, municipal operations and library services.
In an email to the PNR, Paul Murray, the District’s director of financial services said “the budget will enable the municipality to continue to make progress toward strategic priorities and maintain service levels.”
Some of the strategic priorities of Council are the Year of Reconciliation program, a new website, membership in the South Island Prosperity Project, the Keating Business District, Multi-family Densification Planning and Brentwood Bay Waterfront Regulations.
Murray also said the budget balances $28 million in municipal revenues with $28 million in municipal operating and capital expenses.
A new Infrastructure Levy in the District is expected to identify infrastructure replacement costs and aligns with the approved Sustainable Asset Management Plan. The plan is supposed to see a gradual increase in capital renewal investment over 15 years, combined with a focus on condition assessment and leveraging of improved maintenance and construction techniques.
Murray said this approach will move the District in the direction of sustainable levels of infrastructure renewal investment in order to protect future generations and maintain services.