Oak Bay hikes property tax 7.34 per cent

Costs to address aging infrastructure drive tax increase

Property owners in Oak Bay are facing one of the steepest property tax hikes in the region after Oak Bay council approved on Monday an average increase of 7.34 per cent in adopting the 2019-2023 financial plan.

It’s up from last year, when council approved a 5.57 per cent tax increase.

“The 2019 budget reflects an attempt to address long-deferred investment in our critical infrastructure, a move intended to reduce long-term operational costs,” said Mayor Kevin Murdoch.

READ MORE: Oak Bay 2018 budget shows 5.57 per cent tax increase

The average home in Oak Bay is valued at $1.4 million by B.C. Assessment Authority, which equates to a property tax increase of approximately $262 per household, or just over $5 a week.

Oak Bay’s roads, buildings, underground pipes, parking lots and other infrastructure are aging and in need of repair. The increase prioritizes infrastructure maintenance and renewal as it seeks to close an ongoing funding gap for infrastructure costs.

“It is council’s responsibility to ensure the long-term sustainability of our community,” Murdoch said.

Most of the increases in the financial plan are long-term funding commitments to allow for better project planning, Murdoch noted.

READ ALSO: Interactive budget tool launched in Oak Bay

Leading figures are a 30 per cent increase of $220,000 in the road repair budget and the first installment of $5.28 million (over four years) for infrastructure renewal.

“Council recognizes the significant impact tax increases have on our residents, however we also know that moving these projects forward will enhance public safety and that delaying them will only result in higher costs in the future,” explained Murdoch.

Oak Bay did reach out to residents through citizen engagement in 2018 and early 2019 with multiple public strategic planning and budget meetings with public input and an open house. It also used the Citizen Budget online budget simulator that allow residents to indicate their priorities for tax allocation. The Citizen Budget was live for one month, Feb. 15 to March 15.

– This story was updated on May 22 to omit an incorrect total projected budget for 2019.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

Grassfire threatens Sooke home

Quick action by local firefighters quickly extinguished flames

Tomato planting controversy inspires Victoria author’s book on transforming cities

Woman behind the Collinson street mural pens third book

Victoria Humane Society needs volunteers after flood of puppies and kittens

Pregnant cats, dogs and their litters are in need of foster care

Stem cell donor with rare genetic makeup needed to save Saanich man after cancer returns

Jeremy Chow is half Canton Chinese, half British and needs a donor with a similar ethnic background

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Sooke’s Old-Fashioned Country Picnic set for Saturday

The free event combines music, kids activities, food and fun

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Most Read