During a Special Committee of the Whole Meeting on March 30th, Esquimalt Council approved a preliminary 2009 budget. The preliminary budget means a 5.7% increase in municipal taxes in 2009. Council began budget discussions in mid-March when a 7.5% tax increase was initially proposed. Over the last few weeks Council has shaved away at the budget to reduce it to a 5.7% tax increase.
“This is a budget that Council is proud to be able to achieve during the current global fiscal challenge,” said Mayor Barb Desjardins. “Separate of our police budget increase which makes up 3.8 percent of this tax increase, Council has been able to deliver significant community benefits with only an additional 1.9 percent tax increase to our residents. We are participating in the provincial police services audit and working with our police with regards to ensuring best service delivery value for our tax dollars.”
Some highlights of Esquimalt’s $30 million budget are that it:
- accomplishes $11 million in capital projects at a cost to municipal taxpayers of only $550,000 thanks to grant funding – this includes major road improvements for Craigflower Road and the Admirals-Colville intersection
- establishes a sustainability program in order to achieve the municipality’s commitments under the BC Climate Action Charter
- allocates matching funding to bring forward grant proposals for two infrastructure projects – improvements to sidewalks and the Archie Browning Sports Centre
- provides increased recreational opportunities for adults and youth
- supplies funding for the continued operation of the Archie Browning Sports Centre and for new bus shelters, storm sewers and traffic signals
Opportunity for public input is available at all regularly scheduled council meetings up until the budget is approved by Council on May 11, 2009. After the final budget is approved, municipal tax rates will be set and 2009 property tax notices will be prepared and mailed. Based on the average assessed residential property value, a 5.7% tax increase corresponds to just under $100 in municipal taxes to be paid by home owners. For 2009 the average assessed value of a residential property in Esquimalt is $394,238.
To share your input with Council, please click here.