Sidney, B.C.; Town Council has adopted a Financial Plan for 2015 that will result in a slight increase of 2.52% in municipal property taxes. The good news is that this modest increase will be offset by reductions in both the Sewer Parcel Tax and Sewer User Rate, meaning that the average household will pay about the same or less in total municipal charges as last year. The reduction in the Sewer User Rate should also help non-residential taxpayers. Water rates stay the same for 2015.
Mayor Steve Price notes that the tax increase does not simply pay for the same level of services as last year. Taxpayers are getting more for the modest tax increase, as the Town continues to enhance its policing and firefighting capacity, is putting more funding into economic development, is increasing its support to community organizations, and continues to look after its infrastructure. Council and staff worked very hard to keep increases to a minimum, while protecting the high level of service that our residents expect.
The net impact of the tax increase and parcel tax decrease on the average residential property’s tax bill is about $12 per year, or about $1 a month. With the additional decrease in the Sewer User Rate, this increase should be offset through savings on the quarterly utility bill. As always, the tax increase for any individual residence will vary depending on its assessment change relative to the average home value, which is about $426,150 this year.
Total municipal taxes for the average residence are just over $1,350 per year, or $113 per month (about $128 per month including utility parcel taxes). For this monthly amount, the Town provides fire and police services, roads maintenance, parks and public space maintenance, community and emergency planning, bylaw enforcement, as well as a range of related community services. While many of these services may be taken for granted, the value received for $113 per month compares favourably with many common utility bills. Please note that the tax changes for other jurisdictions, which make up about half the tax bill, are not yet finalized.
For more information on the Town’s budget, please refer to the Financial Services section of the Town’s new website, at www.sidney.ca.