Esquimalt Council has approved a budget of $35.6 million which, for the second year in a row, will result in no municipal property tax increase for residents in 2013. In addition, there will be a reduction in municipal taxes paid by business owners.
Council gave first, second and third reading of its Financial Plan Bylaw, 2013 and the Tax Rates Bylaw, 2013, which were adopted at the May 13, 2013 Special Council meeting.
The 0% tax revenue increase was achieved while maintaining core municipal services, replenishing reserve funds and budgeting $6.1 million for capital costs and infrastructure improvements.
“We are continuing on a path that we started last year of holding the line on taxes to homeowners,” said Mayor Barbara Desjardins. “The reduction in taxes to business property owners reflects our commitment to community economic development as stated in our strategic priorities.”
Council’s strategic priorities for 2013 include:
- Developing an economic development strategy with input from all sectors;
- Implementing a new waste resource management process;
- Developing a multi-modal transportation plan including improvements for cyclists, pedestrians, rail/transit users and vehicle commuters; and,
- Moving forward with the Esquimalt Village Plan.