Local governments are wrestling to put together budgets, and associated tax increases, that must be finalized by mid-April in order for 2019 spending and taxation plans to be formalized by mid-May.
Of the communities in the Cowichan Post’s delivery area, North Cowichan appears to be attracting the most controversy with proposals to hire staff and a pause in logging in the municipal forest requiring one of the highest preliminary tax increases being proposed in the Cowichan Valley.
Here are the communities covered by the Cowichan Post and the tax increases proposed in preliminary budgets:
North Cowichan – 3.2 per cent
Duncan – 3.02 per cent
CVRD Cowichan Bay – 2.23 per cent
CVRD Glenora – 2.45 per cent
CVRD Skutz Falls – 6.11 per cent
Each of the CVRD electoral areas will have some variation in tax rates across each geographic area to account for the difference in costs for each of the volunteer fire departments servicing smaller local areas. There are also other local Specific Area cost charges. Check the CVRD web site for recently approved tax rates.
The opportunity for taxpaying residents to comment on budgets in North Cowichan and Duncan will be closed by no later than the middle of March. Check with local government web sites for dates and opportunities for input. The CVRD locked up their budgets on February 27.
Partick Hrushowy is a forty-five year veteran of journalism and the communications field and he is the Editor of the Cowichan Post.