Property owners in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area will see a 3.62 per cent reduction in Capital Regional District taxes this year.
It bucks a trend in the CRD where municipalities are seeing increases from 1.29 to 17.95 percent.
CRD costs vary from municipality to municipality and electoral area districts, based on factors such as assessments and which CRD services they participate in.
Only Juan de Fuca and Metchosin saw tax decreases among the 13 municipalities and three districts in the CRD when directors approved the budget Wednesday. Sooke saw an increase of 1.72 percent.
Capital Regional District operations spending will rise almost nine percent this year with an operating budget of $238.2-million, up from $218.7 million last year.
The average Juan de Fuca home assessed at $440,804 will see a tax decrease of $12,19 for a tax bill of $404.15. When Capital Regional Hospital District costs are factored in, the average total bill is $517.73, down from $530.80 in 2016.
For several years, Juan de Fuca taxpayers have seen a reduction in taxes, said local director Mike Hicks.
“It’s a combination of our usual frugal self, adjusting some budgets, population and increased assessments in other areas,” Hicks said.
But luck played a part in the low tax increase, too, Hicks said.
The Juan de Fuca share many CRD services with other municipalities and some of those areas have seen population increases and building booms affecting what Hicks calls converted assessments. The results? Those areas are paying more of the bills.
Hicks was also able to adjust other areas of the Juan de Fuca budgets and eliminate nonessential services.
“My philosophy has been to spend what we have to spend and that’s it,” Hicks said.
“If there’s a surplus in a budget, I don’t go out and spend it. I give it back to my taxpayers.”