As municipal councils across the region finalize tax rates for business properties, The Chamber wants to hear from any members facing unfair increases.
“Businesses need to plan for expenses, and they expect to be treated fairly. After all, the long-term health of our communities is directly related to the health of our small businesses,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told the Times Colonist. “The Chamber is reaching out to our members to see how (tax increases) affect them individually, and we’ll take that information forward to candidates in the fall municipal election.”
The Chamber recognizes that municipalities must juggle a number of variables when setting rates. Ultimately, each municipality determines how much money they need to deliver services to their citizens and then set rates to raise the revenue to cover most of those costs. Whether an individual property experiences an increase in their tax bill typically depends on whether the property had a higher-than-average increase in value. However, municipalities also need to be fair when allocating costs to commercial properties.
“The business community understands that taxes are a tool used by local governments to provide services, but we’re always watchful of councils who try to shift costs to business and industry and away from residents for political reasons,” Williams said, noting that now is not the time for municipalities to be increasing costs for any taxpayers. “Many businesses are still facing challenges, so any tax increase will weigh on them at a time when we need our economy to take flight.”