Advocacy group slams Saanich budget

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria also questions Saanich’s transparency

An advocacy group questions Saanich’s proposal to increase revenues from property taxes by six per cent.

Bruce Kennedy of the Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria said Saanich’s proposed increase “far outpaces” inflation in B.C., which is running at about three per cent. “Do you know of any worker, student or retiree that got a six per cent raise this year?” he asked.

He made those comments as Saanich prepares for budget deliberations Feb. 26.

RELATED: Average Saanich homeowner will pay an extra $216 under draft budget

Saanich’s 2019 budget proposes to raise revenue from property taxes by 5.93 per cent. More than a quarter of this proposed increase goes towards covering the Employers Health Tax that Saanich has to absorb following the introduction of the EHT.

According to the draft budget, the tax applies to all employee groups working for the municipality, and replaces Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums,which employees either fully paid or cost-shared with the District, depending on the union.

Overall, the average Saanich homeowner will pay about $216 more in 2019.

Kennedy said Saanich once again failed to deliver a “moderate or sensible budget,” adding that Victoria will raise property tax revenues by 4.43 per cent.

RELATED: Saanich walks “tightrope” as budget talks start

RELATED: Saanich police budget threatens to break the bank, says advocacy group

RELATED: New Saanich council faces long list of financial issues

Mayor Fred Haynes told the Saanich News last week that the proposed increase represents a “big lift.” Saanich council, however, still has to go through budget deliberations, he said. He also added that he remains “disappointed” with the provincial government’s decision to download the EHT, which Saanich’s draft budget calls an “imposition.”

Kennedy also questions Saanich’s transparency when it comes to the budget process.

“While other municipalities have been talking about their budgets for months, it’s the first time that the administration of Saanich has graced the council and taxpayers with the draft budget,” he said.

Kennedy said Grumpy Taxpayer$ will be filing a complaint with the Auditor of Local Government to see if something can be done about the issue of improving transparency, governance and the budgeting process.

Saanich officials, for their part, have been talking about the 2019 budget process since at least the spring of 2018 when Saanich announced that it would update and improve its budget process.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner

@saanichnews.com

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

Just Posted

Battling bullying covers a lot of ground, says Safe Schools manager for Sooke School District

Jamie Adair’s background is tailor-made for the work he does with the… Continue reading

‘Not the monster everyone thinks’: Sister of human-trafficking suspect speaks out

Trish Kelly’s brother was one of four Vancouver Island residents arrested last month in Saskatchewan

UPDATED: Indigenous youth occupy B.C. Legislature steps despite court injunction

Police negotiating with people gathered in support of some of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Upgrades for Colwood’s Brook Creek Dam pouring in

Improvements to mitigate risks for residents

Oak Bay ups deer management budget to $96,100 for 2020

Provincial grant approved for deer contraception program

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

Most Read