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Sidney Approves 2020 Financial Plan

Town Council has approved a Financial Plan for 2020 that results in a modest municipal tax impact of 1.79% for existing properties. The net impact of the tax increase on the average residential property is about $27 for the year, or $2.26 a month. The estimated tax increase for the average commercial property – valued at $990,000 – is about $104 for the year. There is no change to Water or Sewer rates.

Mayor McNeil-Smith stated, “By listening to priorities expressed by our residents and working with Town staff, we found innovative ways to make minor changes to the proposed budget that reduced the financial impact to taxpayers, without affecting services or the long-term financial health of the Town.”

Despite the modest 1.79% tax increase – which is below the rate of inflation – the 2020 budget includes 102 capital projects that are meant to maintain or improve services and infrastructure for our community. The total value of the 2020 capital program is just over $10 million, with most of the funding coming from the Town’s reserves. The 2020 capital program features $4.7 million in infrastructure replacement projects, $900,000 for Reay Creek Dam, $250,000 for public washrooms, and $200,000 for improvements at Rathdown Park.

The 2020 budget also includes additional annual support to both the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea and the Sidney Museum and Archives. Annual support for the Shaw Centre has increased to $205,000, while the Museum is to receive an additional $20,000 per year. Both of these important community, cultural, and economic development partners contribute greatly in keeping the Town the vibrant place it is. Total community support payments – an investment spread across 10 non-profit organizations, including the Mary Winspear Centre – are now just over $1 million annually, representing 8.1% of the Town’s operating budget.

Total municipal taxes for the average residence will be about $1,546 for this year, or $129 per month. For this 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.

Residents and businesses are reminded that tax changes for other jurisdictions, which make up about half the total tax bill, are not yet finalized. As always, the tax increase for any individual residence will vary, depending on its assessment change relative to the average home, which increased by only 0.2% this year, and is valued at about $695,000.

For more information on the Town’s budget, please refer to the Town's Budget web page.

If you have any questions, please contact the Finance department at 250-656-1184 or email finance@sidney.ca.