2019 City Budget Sets 2.9% Tax Increase

DUNCAN – City Council will consider adoption of the 2019 Tax Rates Bylaw and Financial Plan on Monday, May 6, 2019.

Council and staff have worked diligently to keep the overall increase in taxes collected as low as possible at 2.9%, while maintaining existing City service levels as chosen by the majority of those surveyed in the 2014 and 2016 Citizen Surveys.

Due to the differences in assessment increases between property classes, the 2.90% increase in taxes collected equates differently depending on the type of property a person owned, and how much the property value increased over other properties.  The City has attempted to balance the increase between residential and business property classes, resulting in an increase of $45 (3.5%) for the average home valued at $356,721 and an increase of $189 (3.5%) for the average business valued at $547,146.

Major projects being undertaken in 2019 include:

Trans-Canada Highway Pathway and Landscaping $275,000
Pine Avenue Upgrades $1,203,102
Day Road Sidewalk, Curbs and Gutters $325,000
Residential Water Metering $300,000
Eagle Heights Reservoir Replacement $712,000
Jaynes Road Watermain Replacement $530,000
Master Transportation Plan (working with North Cowichan) $147,500

The above noted projects will be partially funded from the Police Bridging Capital Reserve, alleviating the need to borrow funds while still being able to complete these much needed projects.

“I appreciate that the City continues to thoughtfully consider managing its finances while at the same time always considering the impacts tax increases have for both residents and businesses,” said Mayor Staples. “The City is undertaking many challenging and needed projects in 2019.  In addition to the physical projects listed, the City is working closely with North Cowichan, Cowichan Tribes, School District No. 79 and other government and community partners to find collaborative solutions that address challenges we face within our region, including homelessness and the opioid crisis.”