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Greater Victoria, BC News

ARTICLE

Date ArticleType
3/28/2012 Media Release
Rate of tax increases unsustainable

Rate of tax increases unsustainable

The presentation to Victoria council Tuesday confirmed that property taxes cannot continue to grow at rates far above economic growth. The challenge of balancing the load between residences and businesses would be much easier if tax increases were more moderate. The recent conference board report indicates economic growth of 1.4% in the Capital Region last year yet municipal budget increases in most communities are more than double that amount.

In addition the presentation highlighted the highly technical nature of the property tax system and the technical challenge council’s across the region face. Langford Mayor Stu Young has made bold promises to keep the lowest tax rate and the region and certainly been able to make good on his word.

The decision the Victoria Council makes and indeed every council in the region as they set property tax rates will send a message to businesses and residents alike. The City of Victoria has a goal of reducing the property tax ratio to 3.0 : 1 (business to residential) the progress they make this year will directly affect their ability to attract business to the core.

“Our economic conditions have not yet returned to 2008 levels and taxpayers are continuing to feel the strain. Complex technical presentation will help council understand its task but will do nothing the address taxpayer’s concerns about the absolute level of taxation. Victoria is the entertainment and business core of Our Vibrant Community and Victoria council must work to maintain a strong core. The City of Victoria must make meaningful progress toward reducing the property tax ratio to fulfill their goals.” Said Bruce Carter, CEO The Chamber.

More detail regarding the Pillars of Good Governance and Our vibrant Community Campaign can be found at

http://www.victoriachamber.ca/temp_pdf/OurVibrantCommunity.pdf

document link I:\2012\Communications\Media Releases\03-28-12 Rate of tax increases unsustainable.docx

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