Victoria City Council has released their draft Strategic Plan and draft Financial Plan for public discussion (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff).

Victoria City Council has released their draft Strategic Plan and draft Financial Plan for public discussion (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff).

City of Victoria releases draft 2019 budget

The draft Financial Plan and the draft Strategic Plan are now online for public review

The City of Victoria is seeking public input on its final draft Financial Plan and draft Strategic Plan.

For over a month mayor and council have been reviewing both documents, which are now up for public discussion.

“We really want to hear from the community what they feel the direction should be for Victoria over the next four years,” said Mayor Lisa Helps in a statement. “On behalf of City council, I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to dive deep on the draft budget and strategic plan, and let us know what they think the priorities should be.”

ALSO READ: City of Victoria considers offering childcare options at City Hall

The draft 2019 budget aims for a budget of $244.7 million, which includes for the first time $2 million for the required employer health tax for City workers, which will replace MSP rates.

The province requires all employers whose payroll exceeds $500,000 or more to cover this cost, and the City of Victoria employee payroll costs over $1.5 million.

The plans also have a capital budget of $118 million, which includes major projects like the replacement of Crystal Pool, a new Fire Hall #1, and the bike master plan. Annual capital budget funding is in part funded by property taxes.

ALSO READ: The City of Victoria considers a $500 rent cap for tiny homes

The overall tax increase will be 4.3 per cent, which includes 1.45 per cent for the Provincial Health Tax. The total tax increase without the Health Tax for 2019-2023 is therefore 2.85 per cent. Combined with utility fees, the overall impact to taxpayers is 3.76 per cent.

For an average household (estimated value of $743,000) this means estimated property and utility taxes for water, sewage, solid waste and stormwater will total to $3,497. This proposed increase will see total funds from property taxes in the 2019 budget to be $11.2 million.

ALSO READ: City of Victoria considers disposable straw ban

Priorities and issues outlined in the budget include supporting small businesses, creating affordable housing options and creating active transportation options.

Support for arts, culture and events will see a $1.5 million investment, while $5.5 million will go to continued funding for the Central and James Bay sxweŋxwәŋ tәŋәxw Greater Victoria Public Library branches.

Infrastructural investments include $34 million in parks, recreation and facilities, and $975,000 to improve city streets.

For emergency services, $57 million is allotted to police, $17.6 to fire services and $1.9 million to bylaw officers.

The City also has climate change commitments, including a goal to see an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and “a shift form GHG-intensive fossil fuels to 100 per cent renewable energy” by 2050.

The City would also like to invest $580,000 to see an improvement in emergency preparedness and management strategies.

ALSO READ: Victoria considers instating Sunday parking fees to subsidize youth transit passes

The 800-page 2019 budget and 23-page draft strategic plan are both available online at victoria.ca.

There will also be a Budget Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be interactive and webcast live.

Residents can also take an online survey in regards to the draft budget and the draft Strategic Plan until Jan. 20. The survey can be found at victoria.ca/budget.

City council will consider the draft plans and all public input received in early February.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

budgetCity of Victoria

Just Posted

Sooke RCMP seized cocaine, ketamine, MDMA, prescription pills, $6,000 cash, a machete and pepper spray during a bust June 15. (Courtesy of Sooke RCMP)
Sooke RCMP seize drugs, machete, pepper spray

Man arrested near Evergreen Centre following drug deal

Sooke Fire Rescue firefighters evacuate an injured hiker on Mount Manuel Quimper in March 2021. Sooke will soon be moving to a new fire dispatch service. (Facebook – Sooke Fire Rescue)
Proposed fire dispatch deal could save Sooke thousands of dollars

New dispatch needed after Langford drops out of CRD service

Alex Fiset and Cooper Oakes, both Grade 4, running to the finish, raising money for the ALS Society of B.C. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
John Muir students rally for ALS support

‘Hey ALS. Nobody likes you!’ the students yelled

BC Housing has brought in sanitation trailers to the former Mount Tolmie Hospital site so its current residents can access clean water, showers, sinks and toilets after a collapsed sewer pipe impacted water service to the building. (Google Streetview)
Mount Tolmie Hospital homelessness shelter using sanitation trailers after pipe collapse

Travelodge shelter residents faced intermittent hot water supply in late May, early June

Al Kowalko drives Sooke School District’s first electric bus that began operation in May. The board decided on June 15 that all future buses will be electric, asking the province for more funding to support the program. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Sooke school board agrees to make all future buses electric

Board to ask province to increase funding to cover the extra up front cost

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Family homeless after fire rips through Chilliwack house

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Syringes prepared with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine are seen at a vaccination site in Long Beach, Calif., Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Vaccine first doses now available for walk-ins on Vancouver Island

People aged 18+ can walk in for their first COVID-19 vaccine

Photos displayed at a vigil for former Nanaimo outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found June 3 and whose death RCMP are investigating as a homicide. (News Bulletin photo)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Most Read