Sooke Mayor Wendal Milne hands out candy to the kids at the Santa Parade on Dec. 9.

Slight tax increase predicted for 2013

After a year of no tax increases District of Sooke may have to relent and raise taxes.

A report coming from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business still has Sooke in the crosshairs, although their figures are two years behind.

The report states Sooke was last year’s worst regional performer, although per capita spending decreased by 2 per cent between 2009 and 2010.

That’s old news, said Sooke Mayor Wendal Milne. When the report spoke of an increase of 172 per cent in real operating per capita spending, it was based on figures from 2000 when the municipality incorporated. Milne said sewer costs had been included in that number. Spending, he said, was related to new growth in the district, which also includes cost of living and wages.

“I anticipate $100,000 to $150,000 from new growth money,” said Milne.

Sooke shows a population growth of 18 per cent between 200-2012.

He said there was a 0 per cent tax increase for residential taxes and a -1 per cent for businesses in Sooke. A tax increase is expected in 2013 based on the numbers they have now.

“We are looking at a 2 per cent increase and a maximum of 2.5 per cent,” stated Milne. He said anything over 0 per cent would go to infrastructure such as roads.

In response to the CFIB report Milne said, “I would hope over the next two to three years we will move up the ladder.”

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