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Greater Victoria, BC News

ARTICLE

Date ArticleType
5/4/2011 Media Release
Competitive Property Taxes

MEDIA RELEASE

IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  

May 4, 2011

Competitive Property Taxes

Victoria, BC – The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce is encouraged that the City of Victoria has reaffirmed its commitment to address tax inequity in the city.  The reduction in the ratio of .004% is in the right direction, but more substantive increase is required in this competitive environment. The gap in property tax ratios that businesses pay compared to residential taxpayers was reduced for 2011/12 from 3.594 to 3.59.

“The City of Victoria relies upon business taxes to cover half its budget. This fact is not lost on other municipalities and they are working hard to attract that tax base. The City of Victoria should look at businesses as customers of City services. If the costs are too high the businesses will and many have relocated to adjacent communities. “ said Bruce Carter, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce  “The Chamber recognizes the tough economic conditions that the region has faced and notes that the City has maintained its policy to move forward on reducing the gap to 3:1,” said Carter.  "Keeping the increase in property taxes to just over one percent is greatly needed as small businesses in our community continue to face challenging business circumstances locally and globally."

The small business community is the backbone of our region’s economy, representing over 75% of all businesses in the region, and is the engine of job creation in our local economy. In conjunction with efforts to reduce red tape, fair property tax levels are an important part of supporting small business.  For businesses and residents alike, an important consideration and a challenge to be solved is the disparity between the growth in municipal budgets and the growth of our local economy and wages paid.  Increases of close to 4% while our region’s economy grows by 2.5% and household incomes increase by just over 2% are ultimately unsustainable.

"In order to address this growing divide we must thoroughly examine what services and infrastructure we provide and how they are delivered.  If we do not address these issues now, we will find ourselves increasingly unable to compete and will lack the resources needed to support our quality of life in the future. The Chamber will continue to strongly advocate for reforms and a level of transparency that supports prudent spending, community involvement and, most importantly, sound decision-making." said Carter.

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has close to 1500 members and is the voice of business for the Greater Victoria region. The Greater Victoria Chamber has received Accreditation with Distinction from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

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For more information contact:

Ellen Henry                                                                                                           Bruce Carter

Manager of Member Communications                                                            Chief Executive Officer
Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce                                                         Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Email:     ehenry@gvcc.org                                                                                                Email:   bcarter@gvcc.org

Cell:  250-812-0510                                                                                            Cell:  250-889-2271

                                                                               

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