Letters: The truth about property taxes

Sooke residents mislead by numbers and tax increases

It’s that time of year again when we have to pay our property taxes, and once again this council has chosen to mislead Sooke residents about our tax increase. In the pamphlet that comes with the tax notice it states, “We are committed to openness and transparency, moving forward on some much needed infrastructure while maintaining tax increases of 0% in 2012, 1.57% in 2013 and .21% in 2014.”

These “tax increases” are calculated by comparing the total amount of property taxes the District of Sooke collected in each of these three years.  This does not reflect what taxpayers actually pay out of their pockets though.  Comparing the residential tax rates (line item “GENERAL – Municipal” on your property tax notice) for 2012, 2013, and 2014 shows rates of 2.59319 for 2012, 2.78289 for 2013, and 2.85692 for 2014. This translates to a 7.3 per cent rate increase from 2012—2013 and a 2.7 per cent rate increase from 2013-—2014.  Unfortunately I cannot compare the rates from 2011—2012, but what I can say is that from 2012 to 2014 residential tax rates have increased nearly 10 per cent.  This applies to every homeowner in Sooke and is unrelated to whether the value of your home has increased or decreased during this time.

Included with your tax notice is a reminder of 2014 municipal elections coming up in November. When voting in November please remember the “openness and transparency” of the current council.

Tom Myrick

Sooke