2.49 per cent tax hike likely in Sooke

District of Sooke's Five-Year Financial Plan shows tax increases

  • Mar. 11, 2015 8:00 a.m.

A few excerpts from the District of Sooke’s draft five-year financial plan which was presented at the COW meeting on March 2, 2015.

This is the executive summary:

Council approved their 2014 – 2015 Corporate Strategic Plan on April 28, 2014. These priorities have been the primary guidance for the 2015 – 2019 Five Year Financial Plan.

In the 2014 – 2015 Corporate Strategic Plan, council identified four strategic priorities: Fiscal Responsibility, Town Centre, Economic Revitalization, Community Planning.

The 2015 budget integrates each of these priorities.

Fiscal Responsibility:

The District will strive towards long-term financial sustainability. It will prepare for the future by ensuring adequate contributions are made towards required long-term capital infrastructure needs while living within current means.

The 2015 budget maintains a 2.49 per cent tax increase. This increase includes contractually obligated increases to expenditures that equate to approximately 2 per cent overall. Addressing the long-term contributions towards capital infrastructure needs, there is an additional $130,000 budgeted to be transferred into the Capital Asset Replacement Reserve. This is above and beyond the minimum required by bylaw.

With long-term sustainability a critical element to strong fiscal responsibility an additional $291,000 is projected to be transferred into the Capital Asset Replacement Reserve. This is the revenue that is expected to be received from new assessment within the District which is called Non-market Change assessment.

A 2.49 per cent tax increase has been achieved in the current year while setting aside $612,939 into reserves for future use, of which $421,000 is not currently required by bylaw. This represents strong fiscal responsibility.

Town Centre:

The Town Centre is a significant priority of council. The district is striving towards making the Town Centre a vibrant, clean and well-maintained node. The initial focus will be on transportation flow, pedestrian safety improvements and meeting appropriate maintenance standards. Implementation of the Town Centre Plan will require many different efforts, including some capital projects, land acquisition and road realignments. Considerable work is needed to improve sidewalks and pedestrian safety. Additionally, actions are required to improve the appearance and functionality of the area.

Some of the completed projects include; land purchases, Church Road Multi-use Trail, completion of the first phase of the Connector Wadams Way, construction of the Wadams Way Multi-use Trail. Included in 2015 of the Proposed Financial Plan are the following projects:

• Design and begin construction of the second phase of the Connector (Phillips to Charters Rd.)

• Hwy 14 Roundabout Construction.

• Improvements to Hwy 14 from Church Rd to Otter Point Rd.

• Design and construction of sidewalks along Hwy 14 from Church Rd to Otter Point Rd.

• Continued funding for Road and Sidewalk Improvement Program.

• Downtown Art Bench.

• Transit Stop Improvements.

Economic Revitalization:

The District will strive towards developing appropriate mechanisms to facilitate and promote long-term community economic prosperity and resiliency.

Community Planning:

The District will strive towards clarifying, simplifying and streamlining planning processes and instruments, which will respond to, enable and support investment and job growth in the community.

The complete draft of the 2015-2019 Five Year Financial Plan is available on the District of Sooke’s website at:

Financial Plan

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