Oak Bay’s grant in lieu of taxes from the University of Victoria is right on trend for 2018 – unfortunately, says Mayor Nils Jensen.
In 2003 Oak Bay got more than $72,000; last year the district received $55,000.
This year they received $50,000 in the consistent decline.
“It’s not a fair assessment,” Jensen said. “The grant is nowhere near the service we provide would cover.”
About one-third of the university property lies within Oak Bay boundaries, with the rest in Saanich. The two municipalities divide an apportioned tax rate for the university. Jensen offered a broad estimate of $250,000 value in services to the university campus in a year.
A fair comparison mayor and council consistently use is the federal land example: Last year Esquimalt got about $12 million for the naval base.
Oak Bay and other municipalities have called for reform for years. In the most recent effort, Oak Bay and the Union of B.C. Municipalities asked the province to amend the University Act to require that the university grants-in-lieu-of-taxes formula better reflect forgone municipal taxes and that rates paid by universities be in keeping with payment- in-lieu-of-taxes paid by the Government of Canada for Federal properties.
The answer was no.