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Municipal Property Taxes


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#1 mat

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 12:11 AM

Colwood is contemplating a 15% property tax increase for 2009

Colwood residents face big tax hike
BY RICHARD WATTS, TIMES COLONISTFEBRUARY 24, 2009 10:01 PM
Colwood homeowners are looking at a possible 16-per-cent boost to property taxes this year as the municipality struggles with a surprise revenue shortfall.

"It's really knocked the wind out of us," said Gordie Logan, Colwood acting mayor.


What other CRD municipalities considering for this year?

#2 Rob Randall

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 10:53 PM

I know the City of Victoria is wanting to slowly bring the business tax rate more in line with the residential rate.

#3 mat

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 12:16 AM

I know the City of Victoria is wanting to slowly bring the business tax rate more in line with the residential rate.


If I have it correctly - the business tax rate is quite a bit higher in Vic, compared to residential. What is the plan? To lower business property rates in line with home owners, or raise residential rates in line with business?

#4 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 03:18 PM

Interesting article in Monday Magazine on how the city has been spending our tax dollars: Perusing the public purse, by Jason Youmans.

Partial excerpt:

Report shows who spent your tax dollars in 2008

Last Friday saw the release of the City of Victoria’s Public Bodies Report—an annual requirement under the province’s Financial Information Act—which looks back at where taxpayer money went in the year that was and how City staff were paid to keep the municipal wheels in motion.

According to the 2008 report, 16 City employees cracked the $100,000 mark, an increase of three over the previous year. Moving up the pay scale into the big money were parks and recreation director Kate Friars, finance director Brenda Warner and firefighters Vern Starling and Paul Bruce.

Deputy city manager Mike McCliggott was the top earner of the year, having assumed the duties of former city manager Penny Ballantyne who took a six month leave of absence during a time of family crisis before her January resignation. For his increased labours in Ballantyne’s absence, McCliggott was rewarded with a healthy $170,890.53—$22,000 more than in the previous year.

The creation of a municipal communications department to manage City Hall’s messaging served communications director Katie Josephson well, bumping her annual salary up by more than $23,000. Finance director Brenda Warner’s promotion to chief bean-counter netted her a raise of more than $60,000.

A change in reporting requirements meant the number of employees earning more than $75,000 dropped from 102 to 85 in 2008, but only because taxable benefits were not included in the calculation as they had been in previous years.

Total payroll for the City of Victoria increased by approximately $300,000 over the previous year and now stands at $43,498,309.03.

The 2008 report highlights once again that the glass ceiling has yet to be shattered at City Hall, as only 22 of the 85 $75,000-plus employees were women (that’s 26 percent). However, there is near-parity in the City’s executive strata, with almost equal numbers of men and women occupying the top posts.

Apart from idle hours washing the trucks, being a fire fighter seems a pretty good gig, as 31 of the $75,000-plus crowd are in the business of smoke and flames.

Data on police salaries was once again unavailable, as the province has asked municipalities to refrain from publishing remuneration information related to local police forces in their annual accounting.

Victoria has a well-deserved reputation for commissioning reports and studies, and 2008 was no exception. The Public Bodies report shows a bevy of consultants were contracted for City work. These included George Cuff ($46,818.07) for his report on the city’s governance structure, Coriolis Consulting ($63,800) for its work on the Victoria harbour pathways initiative and Donald Luxton and Associates ($149,062.12) to update the City of Victoria’s heritage properties register. Vancouver’s Sheltair Group was also paid $103,184.44 to help craft the City’s sustainability framework.

Former City planning manager Joe Daly obviously made the right decision when he left behind his $91,000 City paycheque in 2007, because in 2008 he walked right into a nice $121,548 landscape architecture contract to redesign Centennial Square.

2008 also proved that good art doesn’t come cheap. The financial report shows that first nations carver Clarence Dick billed the City $114,177.39 for costs associated with his Spirit Pole to mark the entrance to the newly renovated Centennial Square and other carvings. The Jack Gibson Gallery billed the City $108,584 for costs associated with seven bronze castings for the Signs of Lekwungen art project.

And then of course there are the incidentals. According to the report, the City of Victoria spent $68,357.71 on dry-cleaning over the course of the year. The City also spent $50,3438 at the QV Bakery and Cafe.

Citizen spenders

Not surprisingly, former Victoria mayor Alan Lowe was the top earning elected official of 2008, taking in $47,478 in compensation and billing the City $15,660.98 for expenses incurred on the job. This was down from $56,953.44 in 2007 due to his shortened work year.

Councillor Chris Coleman retained his crown as largest work-related spender, amassing $6,583.27 in expenses on top of his $21,640 remuneration.

Fiscal prude Geoff Young lost his crown as the least extravagant local politician to the now-retired council veteran Helen Hughes, who billed taxpayers only $1,349.50 in expenses. For his part, Young spent $4,248.65, approximately $3,000 more than in the previous year.

The cost of paying the government-appointed members of the Victoria Police Board more than tripled in 2008 from approximately $15,500 in 2007 to around $54,000.

Board member Katherine Mick was the only member to hit the remuneration ceiling, drawing compensation of $8,000 for her attendance at police board meetings, while accumulating $1,482 in expenses.

Police board member Ken MacLeod was the next runner up, taking $7,450 in remuneration and charging $2,091 in expenses.

Released in conjunction with the Public Bodies report was the City’s Annual report, a document containing its financial position and a record of its accomplishments over the year. These reports tend to read like a brochure for prospective employees so are often more interesting for what is not contained in them.

For example, amid the colourful pictures of City staff and citizens enjoying municipal facilities, nowhere is there a photo of the one group that has dominated municipal discourse over the past year—the homeless.

There's more (eg. lists of names with salaries, more on the Battershill scandal & what that cost), but you'll have to click through.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#5 yodsaker

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 03:31 PM

Let's hope Vic taxpayers saw the quality of their services improve by proportionate amounts.

#6 Nparker

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 07:39 PM

Let's hope Vic taxpayers saw the quality of their services improve by proportionate amounts.


LOL!:P

#7 Mike K.

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 04:32 PM

Just out of curiosity, how high are the taxes that you pay for your property in your municipality?

The home I live in in Vic West (City of Victoria) has a municipal tax of around $3,500. Our neighbours pay something similar.

This does not include municipal service fees like sewage, water, garbage disposal, etc.

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#8 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 04:44 PM

Just out of curiosity, how high are the taxes that you pay for your property in your municipality?

The home I live in in Vic West (City of Victoria) has a municipal tax of around $3,500. Our neighbours pay something similar.

This does not include municipal service fees like sewage, water, garbage disposal, etc.


You get a seperate bill for garbage collection, or it's just broken out to show you its cost? And as for your sewage bill, I think you only see 1/3 of it tied to your water usage, the rest is in with the CRD take of the property tax. I could be wrong, I don't pay those bills individually. Mill rates are right here: http://www.victoria....35-schedule.pdf

#9 Mike K.

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 07:57 PM

We receive three bills per year which break down the costs for "water service," "garbage," "sewer," "water consumption," and "CRD sewer." There appear to be two sewer charges with one attributed to the CRD.

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#10 Linear Thinker

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:48 PM

Just out of curiosity, how high are the taxes that you pay for your property in your municipality?


I'm in Esquimalt and my last tax bill, without any grants, was $4167. (Assessement=$556,000)
School=1005
BC Assessment=35.64
BCTransit=91.24
Municipal=2613.68
CRD=290.97
VIHA=130.30
So ~$470/$100K to Esquimalt, ~$750/$100K for the total bill.
It always gets me that all the grants come out of the school tax portion, so less money going to the schools.
BTW my 2010 assessment came in at $594,000, so a 6.8% increase.

#11 Jacques Cadé

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 11:42 AM

City braces for 4.7% tax increase
http://www.bclocalne...s/82399167.html

The recession may be officially over, but the City of Victoria's is still feeling the pinch.
Residents can expect to pay about a 4.74 per cent property tax increase this year, despite no plans for any new city programs or services, according to preliminary budget numbers.
For homeowners, this means about an extra $17 per $100,000 in assessed property value.
That's down from a previous estimated increase of 5.46 per cent , thanks largely to savings found within each city department.

#12 AnonAnnie2

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 01:17 PM

LOW PUBLIC PRESENCE AT BUDGET PRESENTATION

Mar 18, 2010
AT WEDNESDAY'S BUDGET PRESENTATION COUNCILLOR PAM MADOFF RAISED THE ISSUE OF INCREASING THE PUBLIC'S ECONOMIC LITERACY.

from CFAX news

(Madoff is presuming low-economic-literacy is the reason Joe and Jane Public are not in the audience to hear the budget presentation? Thats pretty rich!)

#13 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 01:25 PM

LOW PUBLIC PRESENCE AT BUDGET PRESENTATION

Mar 18, 2010
AT WEDNESDAY'S BUDGET PRESENTATION COUNCILLOR PAM MADOFF RAISED THE ISSUE OF INCREASING THE PUBLIC'S ECONOMIC LITERACY.

from CFAX news

(Madoff is presuming low-economic-literacy is the reason Joe and Jane Public are not in the audience to hear the budget presentation? Thats pretty rich!)


Maybe "economic literacy" is not the right wording. I agree with her, when they are talking about a $175M budget, more people ought to be there.

#14 AnonAnnie2

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 01:34 PM

Maybe "economic literacy" is not the right wording. I agree with her, when they are talking about a $175M budget, more people ought to be there.


I think she meant exactly what she said. (Read comments this person made during the Blue Bridge issue)

#15 JohnN

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:05 AM

Infrastructure deficit can be managed, finance director says

Bill Cleverley
Times Colonist
February 15, 2012

Victoria's $500-million infrastructure deficit is daunting, but manageable, Victoria councillors were told Tuesday.

"We have a 20-year capital plan and there's not a lot of municipalities that can say that," Victoria's director of finance Brenda Warner said.

"The City of Victoria is investing in its infrastructure and we're doing an awful lot of work on this."

Warner's comments came during a capital budget orientation session.

The $500-million reserve fund deficit is the difference between what is in infrastructure reserves and what should be in the reserves based on an infrastructure replacement value of $1.7 billion.

The infrastructure deficit does not include $143 million in unfunded major capital projects, including replacement of the Crystal Pool, estimated at $58 million, and the $16.5 million replacement of the No. 1 Fire Hall.

Warner said the city is addressing capital funding through a multi-faceted approach, including:

- levying a 1.5 per cent tax increase every year (raising about $1.5 million) for capital reserves;

- transferring all new assessment revenue into infrastructure reserves;

- actively pursuing third-party funding (such as from the federal and provincial governments) for capital projects;

- where possible, only adding new debt in years when other debt issues are retired to minimize the impact on property taxes. Victoria's debt servicing costs for 2010 are $6.8 million compared with $7.5 million for average comparable cities, Warner said.

Still, capital reserves are forecast to decline by 15 per cent this year to $55,974,715 from $66,387,970 as capital spending outstrips reserve contributions.

Mayor Dean Fortin said municipalities such as Victoria need more financial help from senior levels of government for capital projects.

"If we receive just a little bit of support - one-third support from our senior levels of government - then we've managed this and it's workable and we will not have to increase taxes in relation to that [beyond the 1.5 per cent increase earmarked for capital reserves]," Fortin said.

"Really, traditionally, senior levels of government have kicked in anywhere from one third to two thirds of major capital projects and that ultimately is what cities have been saying. We need a commitment from the federal and provincial governments that they are going to be there to help the municipalities with this challenge."

After the meeting, Coun. Geoff Young said he wondered how sustainable is the annual 1.5 per cent tax increase for capital.

"The biggest vulnerability is the 1.5 per cent tax increase, that's the issue," Young said.

"Whether we can afford to continue to increase taxes to that level in order to fund capital when we have ongoing responsibilities in the operating budget. I think we really have to think about some of the things we're doing and whether we can afford to continue at the level we are."

READ MORE:
http://www2.canada.c...0e-f8ee1473f6f6
:)

#16 martini

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:36 AM

Mayor Dean Fortin said municipalities such as Victoria need more financial help from senior levels of government for capital projects.

"If we receive just a little bit of support - one-third support from our senior levels of government - then we've managed this and it's workable and we will not have to increase taxes in relation to that [beyond the 1.5 per cent increase earmarked for capital reserves]," Fortin said.

"Really, traditionally, senior levels of government have kicked in anywhere from one third to two thirds of major capital projects and that ultimately is what cities have been saying. We need a commitment from the federal and provincial governments that they are going to be there to help the municipalities with this challenge."

After the meeting, Coun. Geoff Young said he wondered how sustainable is the annual 1.5 per cent tax increase for capital.

"The biggest vulnerability is the 1.5 per cent tax increase, that's the issue," Young said.

"Whether we can afford to continue to increase taxes to that level in order to fund capital when we have ongoing responsibilities in the operating budget. I think we really have to think about some of the things we're doing and whether we can afford to continue at the level we are."


Fortin cannot run this city based on an 'expectation' of 'help'. It's not prudent or realistic.

I agree with Geoff.

#17 Bob Fugger

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:31 AM

"We have a 20-year capital plan and there's not a lot of municipalities that can say that," Victoria's director of finance Brenda Warner said.


I suspect a WCB claim forthcoming for a repetetive stress injury related to Brenda straining her arm while patting herself on the back. The plan is to spend a **** tonne of cash, financed through property tax increases. Any idiot can come up with that "plan."

"If we receive just a little bit of support - one-third support from our senior levels of government - then we've managed this and it's workable and we will not have to increase taxes in relation to that [beyond the 1.5 per cent increase earmarked for capital reserves]," Fortin said.


I cannot believe I just read that. Our Mayor characterizes 1/3, 33.33333% as just a little bit? Listen Deano, you could build iconic bridges to Timbuktu, provided you gave me back just a little bit of my property taxes. No wonder our finances are such in a shambles.

After the meeting, Coun. Geoff Young said he wondered how sustainable is the annual 1.5 per cent tax increase for capital..


It's not - and you don't need to be an economist to see it.

#18 JohnN

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:21 AM

Warner said total of $143 million in unfunded major capital projects included Crystal Pool at $58 million, and fire hall at $16.5 million, with balance of $68 million in other unfunded projects.

However, the City of Victoria share alone of CRD's sewage plant would be about $100 million and LRT could easily add another $100 million. Assuming that the $68 million is other, smaller projects, that appears to leave $200 million for just two new mega-projects to be paid on top of everything else?

Warner's presentation isn't part of the Governance and Priorities Agenda for 14 Feb, so may not be public yet, but in 2010, City of Victoria Engineering Dept did a similar presentation, projecting infrastructure deficit of $467 million - again, with no mention of CRD sewage plant project debt "coming down the pipe", so to speak...

Saanich appears to be starting to introduce CRD sewage plant debt into its presentations:

Sewage plant excerpt from Saanich 2012-2016 Financial Plan:

1. 2012 Financial Planning Issues
A significant proportion of sewer costs are from CRD regional Sewage Treatment. CRD sewer charges increased by over 3.3% over last year due to operational cost increases and to fund new Liquid Waste Management Plan mandated regional sewer treatment. (page 17)

2012 BUDGET CHALLENGES
Prepare for impact of Sewage Treatment by CRD. (page 64)

http://saanich.ca/se...ancial_plan.pdf
:)

#19 Bernard

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 04:47 PM

What I do not get from the presentation is if the borrowing for the new bridge is counted within that

#20 JohnN

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:32 PM

What I do not get from the presentation is if the borrowing for the new bridge is counted within that


If the bridge cost to Victoria residents is $49.2 million (assuming feds contribute the full $21 million that seems to be expected from them), it would be second in size to the Crystal Pool's $58 million - so why didn't Warner mention it?
:)

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