Sooke council eyes slight tax increase

Sooke council is expected to give approval Monday to an $18.3-million operating budget.

Property owners will likely see a slight increase on their tax bills this year from the District of Sooke.

Sooke council is expected to give approval Monday to an $18.3-million operating budget.

Just how much extra you will save or pay on your tax bill depends on several factors, including your annual property assessment.

The 2016 municipal general property tax increase is 0.85 percent.

The average residential property assessment for 2016 is $343,152 and for 2015 was $336,653 (an increase of 1.93 per cent). If a residential property has increased in value equal to the assessment increase of 1.93 per cent, then its property taxes will increase by 0.85 per cent.

The 2015 municipal general property tax rate increase was zero.

Overall, Sooke taxpayers were given a bit of a break this year as the district’s five-year partnership agreement with the Prestige Hotel ended in 2015. This represents an annual savings of $237,000.

Major expenditures total $4.6 million and include completion of the roundabout and town centre project, road and sidewalk improvements, property purchase for a new library, the turf field project, public space enhancements and improvements to drainage systems.

The district is also placing $1.5 million into reserve funds.

“These are the things that we are focusing on this year,” said Mayor Maja Tait.

“It’s always a case of wanting to set goals that are realistic and achievable.”

The bulk of the districts’s operating revenues is generated from property taxes and utility fees. Other sources of revenue are licence and development fees, program fees and investments.

Besides municipal taxes, Sooke residents also pay taxes to the Capital Regional District, Capital Regional Hospital District and the Sooke School District, all reflected in their annual tax bill from the district.