North Cowichan property owners will see an average tax increase of 2.61 per cent in 2018.
Council gave the final reading to its five-year financial plan that set the tax increase at its meeting on May 2, weeks before the deadline of May 15.
The municipality had originally anticipated a 3.09 per cent tax increase for 2018 because of the expected debt increases for the initial stage of the new, approximately $23-million, RCMP detachment.
The original plan was for the province to confirm funding support for the new RCMP detachment project by March 31, 2016, with design happening in 2016 and construction starting in 2017.
But the final building options weren’t completed in time to meet those deadlines so the project has been moved to 2018 for design and 2019 for start of construction.
That means that the projected tax increase related to the project will now be phased in over a three-year period that will begin in 2019.
“We are really happy to keep the tax increase for 2018 under three per cent,” said Mayor Jon Lefebure.
“We had anticipated for it to be much higher because it was expected that the construction of the new RCMP building would have started and we would have had to begin to take on that debt. But we anticipate that will happen soon, maybe starting in 2019.”