North Cowichan is projecting a 2.64 per cent increase in property taxes next year.

North Cowichan projects a 2.64 per cent tax increase in 2018

Town hall budget meetings scheduled for this fall

North Cowichan is projecting a 2.64 per cent increase in property taxes for 2018.

The municipality’s five-year financial plan had anticipated a 3.09 per cent tax increase for 2018, but Mark Frame, the municipality’s director of financial services, told council on Aug. 16 that the projected tax increase was based on cost assumptions at the time, and will likely be less as North Cowichan begins discussions on next year’s budget.

He said the 3.09 per cent projected tax increase included the consideration of a two per cent wage increase for staff, one per cent for inflation and debt increases for the initial stage of the new, approximately $23-million, RCMP detachment.

Frame said it was anticipated that the province would confirm funding support for the new RCMP detachment project by March 31, 2016, with design happening in 2016 and construction starting in 2017.

But he said, as of July, North Cowichan is still waiting for the RCMP to finalize building options, so the project will need to be moved to 2018 for design and 2019 for start of construction.

“This means the projected $800,000 tax increase, which totalled three per cent of the total tax increase projected for 2018, related to the debt servicing costs will now be phased in over a three-year period that will begin in 2019,” Frame said.

“The most significant change from the 2017 Financial Plan is postponing the RCMP building. This decreases the 2018 tax increase and increases the 2019 tax increase. These numbers are all preliminary and will no doubt change as we progress through the budget process.”

Frame said in a staff report that the municipality is also facing a number of smaller cost increases in 2018 that will impact the tax rates for the year.

They include adding two clerical positions, an increase to North Cowichan’s fire truck replacement fund and costs related to adding new positions to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment.

Frame also suggested that North Cowichan continue to seek public input on its budget for 2018 during a series of town hall meetings across the community tentatively scheduled to be held in October.

The town hall budget meetings, which the municipality began two years ago, typically include a presentation highlighting the current year’s accomplishments, a brief overview of the municipality’s draft budget, and round table discussions on upcoming projects.

Coun. Joyce Behnsen suggested that, with all the demands on staff this year, the town hall meetings should be cancelled.

But other councillors defended the meetings, stating that many in the community want to be given the opportunity to be part of the budget-building process.

“I’d hate to see the headlines in the local paper saying we cancelled those meetings,” Coun. Tom Walker said.

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

North Cowichan mayor answers questions about new RCMP detachment

The current building went up in 1980, when there were 30 people working there.

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

Man dies at temporary Duncan tent site for homeless

First Nations man died at The Mound site

No doctor assisted death allowed at Hamlets in Duncan

Faith-based company that owns facility believes in sanctity of life

UPDATED: Minivan crashes into Merchants building in downtown Duncan

There is no word yet on the cause of the crash.

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway

President Donald Trump said the jobs report shows the economy is “roaring back”

Most Read