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City of Duncan considers 11.07% tax increase in 2024

Most of increase related to policing costs
City of Duncan is considering a 11.07 per cent tax increase in 2024. (Citizen file photo)

Duncan taxpayers could face a tax increase of 11.07 per cent in 2024.

The increase to the cost of policing in the city, which is 7.87 per cent of the projected tax increase for the year, is the main driver behind the escalating costs.

In 2021, the city surpassed the 5,000 population mark and had to start paying 70 per cent of its policing costs for the first time, as required by the provincial Policing Act.

For 2024, the province has increased the number of officers for whose payment the city is responsible.

In 2023 the municipality was responsible for paying for nine officers, and in 2024, it will be responsible for paying for 10 officers.

This number will increase again in 2025 to 11 officers, and finally in 2026 to 12 officers.


Financial director Bernice Crossman said council is considering an increase in taxes collected for operating expenses of 4.42 per cent, which would have seen a total tax increase of 12.29 per cent with the policing costs, but 1.22 per cent will be coming from new construction and council decided to use $125,000 from police reserve accounts, which lowers the projected tax increase to 11.07 per cent to to be paid by taxpayers.

The city’s budget webpage, which can be found at, explains that the 4.42 per cent increase in operating expenses is largely due to inflation.

“During the last year, we have seen higher than average cost increases on things such as fuel and repairs for our equipment, and materials used for things such as street and traffic maintenance,” the webpage said.

“If taxes are not increased each year to account for inflation, the result would have the be a reduction in maintenance budgets or a deferral of major capital works. This could result in the failure of an asset (like equipment or a municipal building) which then would require higher future taxes to pay for emergency repairs or replacement. Eventually the deferred major capital works must also be done, which would again result in higher future taxes to do the works that should have been done.”


Crossman said the city’s next budget meeting is scheduled for Jan. 26 where any public comments collected on the city’s budget webpage will be presented to council, and further considerations of additional options will be made, such as increasing the use of reserves to defer more of the tax increase this year to 2025.

“We have not determined exactly when the budget bylaw will be adopted, but it will be before May 15,” she said.

Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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