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 resulting in one of the highest preliminary tax increases being proposed in the Cowichan Valley.

Most of the increases are preliminary and will be firmed up in coming months. 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.

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 will have locked up their budgets by February 27.

We’ve taken a closer look at taxes from a couple of angles inside the paper. As well, our Editorial Board has chosen to make this the comment for the month.

Taxes are an important issue both for resident pocket-books as well as the services and facilities we have in our community.

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