As Greater Victoria municipalities reveal their 2023 budgets, many businesses are finding out if they'll face higher taxes this year.
Victoria, for example, has seen operating costs surge due to inflation and new spending. City council tried to scale back but businesses and residents are still facing hundreds of dollars in new costs. The typical business property assessed at $714,000 will pay an extra $445 despite getting few of the services or benefits provided to residents.
It's much worse for industrial lands, which face a 37% increase that could add hundreds of thousands to major operations.
"It's clear that we have work to do to help many of the new councillors in our region understand why reducing business taxes is an investment in community," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said, noting that businesses need cost certainty and many were hit with rising inflation as they were beginning to return to normal after the pandemic.
"These businesses provide goods and services as well as jobs for their owners and employees. Jobs that are at risk of going away if the business is unaffordable," Williams said. "And in the case of industry, these new taxes effectively replace good jobs with money for the city to spend. That's wrong. We need to invest in our marine industries, especially, to preserve the value they add to our region."