Victoria City Council has released their draft Strategic Plan and draft Financial Plan for public discussion (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff).

City of Victoria releases draft 2019 budget

The draft Financial Plan and the draft Strategic Plan are now online for public review

The City of Victoria is seeking public input on its final draft Financial Plan and draft Strategic Plan.

For over a month mayor and council have been reviewing both documents, which are now up for public discussion.

“We really want to hear from the community what they feel the direction should be for Victoria over the next four years,” said Mayor Lisa Helps in a statement. “On behalf of City council, I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to dive deep on the draft budget and strategic plan, and let us know what they think the priorities should be.”

ALSO READ: City of Victoria considers offering childcare options at City Hall

The draft 2019 budget aims for a budget of $244.7 million, which includes for the first time $2 million for the required employer health tax for City workers, which will replace MSP rates.

The province requires all employers whose payroll exceeds $500,000 or more to cover this cost, and the City of Victoria employee payroll costs over $1.5 million.

The plans also have a capital budget of $118 million, which includes major projects like the replacement of Crystal Pool, a new Fire Hall #1, and the bike master plan. Annual capital budget funding is in part funded by property taxes.

ALSO READ: The City of Victoria considers a $500 rent cap for tiny homes

The overall tax increase will be 4.3 per cent, which includes 1.45 per cent for the Provincial Health Tax. The total tax increase without the Health Tax for 2019-2023 is therefore 2.85 per cent. Combined with utility fees, the overall impact to taxpayers is 3.76 per cent.

For an average household (estimated value of $743,000) this means estimated property and utility taxes for water, sewage, solid waste and stormwater will total to $3,497. This proposed increase will see total funds from property taxes in the 2019 budget to be $11.2 million.

ALSO READ: City of Victoria considers disposable straw ban

Priorities and issues outlined in the budget include supporting small businesses, creating affordable housing options and creating active transportation options.

Support for arts, culture and events will see a $1.5 million investment, while $5.5 million will go to continued funding for the Central and James Bay sxweŋxwәŋ tәŋәxw Greater Victoria Public Library branches.

Infrastructural investments include $34 million in parks, recreation and facilities, and $975,000 to improve city streets.

For emergency services, $57 million is allotted to police, $17.6 to fire services and $1.9 million to bylaw officers.

The City also has climate change commitments, including a goal to see an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and “a shift form GHG-intensive fossil fuels to 100 per cent renewable energy” by 2050.

The City would also like to invest $580,000 to see an improvement in emergency preparedness and management strategies.

ALSO READ: Victoria considers instating Sunday parking fees to subsidize youth transit passes

The 800-page 2019 budget and 23-page draft strategic plan are both available online at victoria.ca.

There will also be a Budget Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be interactive and webcast live.

Residents can also take an online survey in regards to the draft budget and the draft Strategic Plan until Jan. 20. The survey can be found at victoria.ca/budget.

City council will consider the draft plans and all public input received in early February.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

budgetCity of Victoria

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

Just Posted

Pink Shirt Day uplifting for West Shore RCMP

Members of the West Shore RCMP have scheduled a variety of activities with students Feb. 26

Wear your rose-coloured glasses for the second annual Pink Shirt Gala

Anti-bullying event promises pink drinks, food and shirts

Pink Shirt Day originator to speak at Monterey school in Oak Bay

Travis Price continues anti-bullying movement with Island tour

No dogs allowed off-leash at Luxton Fairgrounds in Langford

New sign placed by Metchosin Farmers Institute on Wednesday, Feb. 19

Metchosin aims to enforce dog leash rule after dog attacks on sheep farm

Stillmeadow Farm loses three to five sheep every year due to loose dogs

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Pink Shirt Day campaign urges Canadians to ‘Lift Each Other Up’

Annual anti-bullying effort returns Wednesday, Feb. 26

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Most Read