The City of Duncan has managed to drop its projected tax increase for 2019 below three per cent.
A press release from the city states that, after council and staff worked diligently to keep the overall increase as low as possible, council will consider adopting a 2.9 tax increase at its meeting on May 6.
The city has historically tried to keep tax increases in its annual budgets at or below three per cent.
Last year’s tax increase was 3.5 per cent and the 2017 increase was 2.4 per cent.
Due to the differences in assessment increases between property classes, the 2.9 per cent tax increase equates differently, depending on the type of property a person owns, and how much the property value increased over other properties.
“The city has attempted to balance the increase between residential and business property classes, resulting in an increase of $45 for the average home valued at $356,721, and an increase of $189 for the average business valued at $547,146,” according to the release.
Major capital projects planned in the city for 2019 include upgrades along Pine Avenue, at a cost of $1.2 million, the replacement of a reservoir in Eagle Heights, at $712,000, and a water-main replacement on Jaynes Road, at a cost of $530,000.
The capital projects will be partially funded from the city’s police bridging capital reserve, alleviating the need to borrow funds.
“I appreciate that the city continues to thoughtfully consider managing its finances, while at the same time always considering the impacts tax increases have for both residents and businesses,” said Mayor Michelle Staples.
“The city is undertaking many challenging and needed projects in 2019. In addition to the physical projects, the city is working closely with North Cowichan, Cowichan Tribes, School District No. 79 and other government and community partners to find collaborative solutions that address challenges we face within our region, including homelessness and the opioid crisis.”