Oak Bay hikes property tax 7.34 per cent

Costs to address aging infrastructure drive tax increase

Property owners in Oak Bay are facing one of the steepest property tax hikes in the region after Oak Bay council approved on Monday an average increase of 7.34 per cent in adopting the 2019-2023 financial plan.

It’s up from last year, when council approved a 5.57 per cent tax increase.

“The 2019 budget reflects an attempt to address long-deferred investment in our critical infrastructure, a move intended to reduce long-term operational costs,” said Mayor Kevin Murdoch.

READ MORE: Oak Bay 2018 budget shows 5.57 per cent tax increase

The average home in Oak Bay is valued at $1.4 million by B.C. Assessment Authority, which equates to a property tax increase of approximately $262 per household, or just over $5 a week.

Oak Bay’s roads, buildings, underground pipes, parking lots and other infrastructure are aging and in need of repair. The increase prioritizes infrastructure maintenance and renewal as it seeks to close an ongoing funding gap for infrastructure costs.

“It is council’s responsibility to ensure the long-term sustainability of our community,” Murdoch said.

Most of the increases in the financial plan are long-term funding commitments to allow for better project planning, Murdoch noted.

READ ALSO: Interactive budget tool launched in Oak Bay

Leading figures are a 30 per cent increase of $220,000 in the road repair budget and the first installment of $5.28 million (over four years) for infrastructure renewal.

“Council recognizes the significant impact tax increases have on our residents, however we also know that moving these projects forward will enhance public safety and that delaying them will only result in higher costs in the future,” explained Murdoch.

Oak Bay did reach out to residents through citizen engagement in 2018 and early 2019 with multiple public strategic planning and budget meetings with public input and an open house. It also used the Citizen Budget online budget simulator that allow residents to indicate their priorities for tax allocation. The Citizen Budget was live for one month, Feb. 15 to March 15.

– This story was updated on May 22 to omit an incorrect total projected budget for 2019.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

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

Just Posted

Public to weigh in on Colwood Royal Bay development Monday

Application to rezone lands north of Latoria Boulevard submitted to council

Loss of UVic dog park deals a blow to socially anxious pets

Owners of non-socialized dogs seek safe space following closure of Cedar Hill Corner

Residents around Sidney’s Reay Creek Pond welcome federal remediation efforts

It is not clear yet whether Sidney will renovate nearby dam at the same time

Camp fun still offered in Greater Victoria

Easter Seals offers day camp options to replace cancelled overnight camps

Swim advisory issued at Cadboro Bay beach due to high bacteria levels

Island Health advises against water activities, swimming

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read