Sidney council makes 2020 business tax cuts permanent heading into 2021. (Black Press Media Staff).

Sidney council makes 2020 business tax cuts permanent heading into 2021. (Black Press Media Staff).

Sidney council makes 2020 business tax cuts permanent heading into 2021

Council agreed to review taxation rates on the basis of 2020 business rates

Sidney council continues to prepare the ground for changes to its municipal tax policy in favour of businesses.

Council voted unanimously to use the 2020 taxes rate as starting point for yet-to-be-finalized tax rates in 2021. Council had earlier this spring decided to reduce business taxes by 10 per cent for 2020 to help local businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council’s most recent tax move makes that cut permanent for the foreseeable future with potential other changes in the works as staff are currently working toward ways of easing the tax burden of non-residential properties (minus recreational marinas) with a corresponding shift toward residential properties.

But this most recent move will also force the municipality to find an additional $300,000 to what make up the ‘lost’ revenue.

According to a presentation last month from Andrew Hicik, Sidney’s director of corporate services and chief financial officer, residential properties account for 87 per cent of Sidney’s assessed properties, they “only pay” 73 per cent of property taxes. “Whereas commercial properties make up only 11 per cent of the assessment base, but they roughly pay twice that in terms of taxation,” he said.

RELATED: Sidney plans 10 per cent break on commercial taxes, zero increase for general property

Owners of light industrial and commercial properties paid 2.44 dollars in municipal property taxes for every dollar paid by owner of residential properties in 2020 under the amended rates.

This difference would have been even higher had council reverted to the pre-cut rates of 2019 when the multiple was almost three-to-one to the detriment of light industrial and commercial property owners.

According to the report, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businessses, a pro-business lobby group, has been advocating for a commercial multiple of two. Sidney currently does not use the multiple method to divide up the tax burden. It (like all municipalities with some minor exceptions) currently collects a stable share of taxes from each class of property owners, with residential and commercial properties being the two largest category. The categories of utilities, light industrial and recreational properties make up negligible shares.

Discussion among councillors so far has pointed toward a broad but not necessarily unanimous desire to lower the burden on light industrial and commercial property owners against the specific backdrop of COVID-19 but also the more general wish to keep Sidney competitive.

Coun. Terri O’Keeffe worried earlier this month that Sidney’s proposed direction may have a detrimental effect on residential payers, especially younger families with children. She voted against using the 2020 rates during committee-of-the-whole earlier this month.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Sidney

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Rendering of the proposed Esquimalt public safety building. (Courtesy Township of Esquimalt)
Esquimalt blazes new trail toward modern public safety building

Township using alternative approval process for first time to gauge public support for proposal

Landmarks such as Howard the giant gnome at Galey's Farm in Saanich make a stunning backdrop for celebratory dance in the Greater Victoria Festival Society trailer for its coming Dance Victoria campaign. (Screeshot/Greater Victoria Festival Society)
Residents’ videos help campaign Dance Across Victoria

Celebratory dance clips to be compiled into Greater Victoria Festival Society video

Reynolds Secondary School’s spring musical Freaky Friday features Grace Fouracre as teen Ellie Blake (left) who swaps bodies with her overworked mother, Katherine, played by Nadia Lurie. (Photo courtesy Reynolds Secondary School)
Saanich high school goes virtual with Freaky Friday musical

Reynolds Secondary theatre program to livestream performances March 9-12

Saanich Fire Department. Black Press Media File Photo
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read