Tentative City of Duncan budget calls for 2.58% hike

The City of Duncan is considering a 2.58 per cent property tax increase for 2017.

The City of Duncan is considering a 2.58 per cent property tax increase for 2017.

But director of finance Talitha Soldera cautioned that next year’s budget, which will total approximately $9 million, is still in its early phases.

She said she expects the projected average tax increase in the budget will likely be more as the financial numbers are finalized before the budget is adopted by May 15.

Soldera said council still has to consider the cost implications on the draft budget of the many grants-in-aid for 2017 it agreed to hand out to various community organizations earlier this week.

They include $30,000 to the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of commerce to assist in the running of the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre, and approximately $32,000 to help pay the city’s share of planned upgrades at the Cowichan Sportsplex.

Soldera also said council will have to consider the cost implications of the recently held 2016 census before the final budget is tabulated.

“If the population of the city has risen to more than 5,000 people, the municipality will have to pay a much larger share of the contract for the RCMP here,” she said.

“We’ve been close to the 5,000 number for years, so the census will determine if we’ve finally gone over that number.”

Typically, the final breakdown of the proposed tax increases between residential, business and industrial classes in the city will be determined when BC Assessment releases its revised assessment roll in March.