Sooke residents pay more for CRD services

CRD directors gave approval to a $263.1 million consolidated operating budget

Juan de Fuca taxpayers will pay less, but Sooke residents will pony up more for Capital Regional District services this year.

CRD directors gave approval to a $263.1 million consolidated operating budget that includes $218 million for CRD operations, $29.7 million for the Capital Region Hospital District and $14.7 million for the Capital Region Housing Corporation.

The CRD budget is unique for each municipality, electoral area and First Nation as each participates in a different set of services.

A 2.73 percent increase for Sooke will add $6.72 to the tax bill for an average single-family house valued at $352,711, while Juan de Fuca residents will see taxes drop by 2.72 per cent. It means a savings of $20 of an average house valued at $394,646.

Sooke taxpayers also face a possible one per cent municipal tax increase. The District of Sooke council will vote on its 2016 budget this month.

CRD budget highlights include:

The total 2016 property tax requisition for CRD operations is $72.2 million – up from $71.2 million in 2015.

$24 million for debt-servicing costs – 13.08 per cent of total revenue.

The salaries of CRD directors will double in 2016, a cost of $235,000.

The consolidated budget calls for more than $126.5 million in capital projects, including $1 million for acquisition of golf course property in Sooke for SEAPARC.

$21 million for CRD solid waste service.

$8 million in planned expenditures in regional parks to support ongoing initiatives, new park openings and expanded operations.

$4 million in development of arts and theatre related services.

• Reduction in Juan de Fuca planning budget due to reflect reallocation of resources.