Mark Frame, North Cowichan’s finance director, and his staff are now recommending a 1.8 per cent tax increase in 2020. (File photo)

North Cowichan now to consider 1.8% tax increase in 2020

Staff had previously recommended a 4.4% tax increase

Staff in the Municipality of North Cowichan are now recommending a net 1.8 per cent tax increase for all assessment classes in 2020.

Staff are asking that council consider the tax increase, which is significantly lower than the 4.4 per cent tax increase in 2020 for most of its tax classes that was recommended last month, at its meeting on April 15.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN WAS CONSIDERING A 4.4% TAX INCREASE IN 2020

Finance director Mark Frame said in a report that, at council’s instruction, staff has reviewed the municipality’s numerous budgets to estimate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the overall 2020 budget and tax rates.

“It is recognized that 2020 will not be a business as usual scenario, and though it was a very quick review, it reflected budget savings and revenue losses to June 30, 2020,” Frame said.

“If the pandemic goes on longer, there will be other longer-term changes that will have to be made at that time.”

Frame said the most immediate consequences of the pandemic in the municipality have been the closure of recreation facilities and the municipal hall.

RELATED STORY: CITY OF DUNCAN CONSIDERING A TAX INCREASE OF 3.16%

“There are minimal short-term savings in wages due to the notice periods for staff affected by the closures,” Frame said.

“The Fuller Lake Arena would have reduced operations considerably in April in any event. However, the longer the Cowichan Aquatic Centre is closed, the more significant these savings become.”

Frame said with the disruption caused by the pandemic, there will be capital projects that the municipality will not be able to complete in 2020.

“In a typical year, the funding for these projects would be carried forward in a capital reserve, and the projects would be rescheduled in a future year as per our asset management policy,” he said.

“Given that this is not a typical year and that the disruption will be considerable and at peak construction time, staff is recommending reducing the 2020 property taxes for cancelled projects. This will effectively mean pushing those and subsequent projects out a year or two.”

Frame said the decrease in revenue from recreational facilities, building permits, interest on investments and other sources is estimated to be approximately $644,000.

But he said savings in capital and operating costs, including postponed road projects, in 2020 is estimated to be approximately $1.34 million.

If council approves the 1.8 per cent tax increase, the net increase for an average single-family home in North Cowichan would be $37.07, compared to $72.50 before the adjustments.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

municipal politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hot ticket: Tickets on sale tonight for drive-in theatre at Cowichan Exhibition

Fresh Air Cinema bringing Onward and The Lion King to the big screen at the Cowichan Exhibition

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Duncan school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Long-awaited opening for Chemainus Public Market

All components not up and running just yet, but will be soon

Duncan Christian grads get top college sports honours

Danielle Groenendijk and Adam Kapteyn were both honoured

Alistair MacGregor column: Standing up for seniors

Across Canada, seniors are scared.

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Most Read