Editorial: 6% an unacceptable tax increase

It’s important to keep in mind that it’s still really early in the game. A lot of things will change between now and the fall when decisions will be made. But one thing will not change. A nearly six per cent tax increase for residents of the Municipality of North Cowichan will remain unacceptable.

We’ve known this was coming, so the number, 5.92 per cent, is not a complete shock. Council has been warned for years by staff that the price for a new RCMP detachment will be hitting the budget, and it will be a significant number. It amounts to 2.1 per cent of the possible increase. And this won’t be the last year the new detachment will mean an increase.

Without a lot of new revenue on the horizon to compensate, North Cowichan needs to take a serious look at where it might claw back some cash, because the taxpayers’ pockets aren’t bottomless. Especially for those on fixed incomes, which amounts to a significant portion of North Cowichan’s demographic, there is no ability to absorb such a financial blow. Particularly not year after year after year. Even for working people, it’s doubtful most people’s salaries are going up anywhere close to enough to pay for such an increase.

It’s not the only increase in costs people are facing, either. Everything from groceries to insurance (talk to your broker about how much of an increase you can expect on your home insurance each year for the foreseeable future — it will blow your mind) have gone up in cost at a rate that salaries and pensions aren’t even close to keeping pace with.

This cannot continue unabated. While North Cowichan council doesn’t have the power to correct all of these problems, they can look to their own balance sheets and find some savings. Property taxes are a significant expense for most people, and while the services they provide are absolutely vital to our continued well-being, the ability to pay them can’t become prohibitive.

We don’t want to see people lose their homes.

So it’s time for staff and councillors to look at where they can make cuts, and where they can find more revenue. It won’t be easy, but it must be done.

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Don’t feed the bears, BCCOS warns, after incidents in Cowichan

People have been spotted trying to feed bear near Youbou

Elizabeth May endorses Furstenau in BC Greens race

Former federal party leader backs Cowichan Valley MLA

Symphony pop-up concerts coming to Saltair

Only 40 tickets available so get them soon if you’re interested

Langford teens reunited with family after rescue near Chemainus

Friends spent night in missing truck, spotted by RCMP helicopter

Cowichan School District wins top trades training award

“The welding program provided an amazing head start on my career”

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

UPDATE: Vancouver Island skydiving community mourns loss of one of its own

James Smith, 34, of Victoria, dies in Nanoose Bay incident

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

RCMP seek man facing sexual assault charges

Police believe he may be living on central Vancouver Island but also has a history in the Cariboo region

Most Read