Sidney, B.C.; Town Council has approved a Financial Plan for 2021, resulting in a modest municipal tax impact of 2.7% for existing properties. The net impact of the tax increase on the average residential property is about $41 for the year, or $3.42 a month. The estimated tax increase for the average commercial property – valued at $962,000 – is about $105 for the year.
Mayor McNeil-Smith stated, “Following the rollback of the tax increase to 0% in 2020 and the additional 10% reduction in municipal taxes for commercial properties, we took a measured approach to balance, keeping tax impacts low, maintaining the wide range of Town services to the community, and maintaining the long-term financial health of the Town. With the receipt of $2.7 million in Canada-BC Safe Restart funds, we are able to mitigate some of the impacts of the pandemic and transition back to normal revenue levels over the next three years.”
The 2021 budget includes nearly 100 capital projects that will maintain infrastructure or improve services for our community. The 2021 capital program is just under $10 million, with most of the funding coming from the Town’s reserves. It features $4.4 million in infrastructure replacement projects, $1.1 million in sidewalk and pathway improvements, and $400,000 for Fourth Street washrooms replacement and new waterfront public washrooms. The operating budget features ongoing work on the review of our Official Community Plan (OCP), as well as funding for a new Climate Action Coordinator.
The 2021 budget also includes ongoing annual support to our vital community organizations, including the Mary Winspear Centre, Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, and the Sidney Museum and Archives. Total community support payments – an investment spread across ten non-profit organizations – are now close to $1 million annually, representing 8% of the Town’s operating budget. Council approved $60,000 in grants for 2021 and 2022 to the Sidney BIA for business development initiatives in response to the impacts of the pandemic and $60,000 for the development of a long-term economic development strategy.
Total municipal taxes for the average residence will be about $1,559 for this year or $130 per month. For this amount, the Town provides fire and police services, roads and sidewalk maintenance, parks and public space maintenance, water and sewer infrastructure and service, 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 1% this year and is valued at about $700,000.
For more information on the Town’s budget, please refer to the Financial Services section of the Town’s website.
Director of Corporate Services