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Tax increase of about 4% considered for Lake Cowichan

Budget expected to be finalized by end of March
Lake Cowichan Mayor Tim McGonigle said council will discuss a possible tax increase of about 4% for 2024. (Citizen file photo)

Taxpayers in the Town of Lake Cowichan may be looking at a tax increase in the range of four per cent in 2024.

Mayor Tim McGonigle said staff are in the process of determining the financial requirements they feel are needed in the town for the year and when that is prepared, the information will be deliberated within the next two weeks by council, and council members will provide input.

“From our preliminary discussions, we’re anticipating about a four per cent increase before any consideration by council,” he said.

“The budget is expected to be finalized and adopted by the end of March.”

McGonigle said council’s biggest concern this year is the financial pressure on the Cowichan Valley Regional District, of which the Town of Lake Cowichan is a municipal member, as a result of the district’s anticipated significant increases to regional recreation and the regional parkland acquisition fund.


The CVRD is considering a large tax increase of more than 16 per cent for 2024, with approximately eight per cent of that related to increased costs due to the district’s contributions to the regional parkland acquisition fund and regional recreation, both of which were approved by the public in separate referendums in 2008 and 2022.

As part of the referendum to change the funding formula for regional recreation, the CVRD is mandated to increase taxes 6.17 per cent in 2024.

As well, the board has approved a $958,000 contribution to the parkland acquisition fund this year.

“This will have impacts on taxpayers in Lake Cowichan, as well as the rest of the CVRD, and their ability to pay their taxes this year, and I’m sure this will be part of our budget discussions,” McGonigle said.

McGonigle said the question is how can council accommodate its financial commitments to the CVRD while meeting the needs of the town’s taxpayers.

“It’s a real financial conundrum,” he 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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