SRD sets its budget for next five years, taxes to increase for most

Check out the breakdown of where taxes will be increasing, and by how much

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) has passed its 2018-2022 Financial Plan, and taxes are set to go up for most regions with representation around the table.

The SRD is made of up four electoral areas and five municipalities, and CAO David Leitch says the district’s tax structure is “based on the number and amount of services a region receives such as water, sewer and solid waste management.”

The district has managed to keep the tax increases to a minimum, Leitch says, thanks to what he calls “a considerable amount of funding from the provincial and federal governments as well as through grants. This comes from employees actively pursuing funding opportunities that allow the SRD to continue to improve the delivery of services with minimal impact on tax rates.”

The average tax increase per area, based on the assessed value of a single-family residential home in that municipality or electoral area, is broken down as follows:

Campbell River: $12.62 increase (3.9 per cent)

Gold River: $1.47 increase (six per cent)

Sayward: $.74 increase (2.3 per cent)

Tahsis: $0.75 increase (5.1 per cent)

Zeballos: $0.46 decrease (2.7 per cent)

Area A – Kyuquot/Nootka: $5.51 decrease (5.6 per cent)

Area A – Sayward: $3.47 increase (0.7 per cent)

Area B – Cortes Island: $12.16 increase (1.5 per cent)

Area C – Discovery Islands-Mainland Inlets: $13.02 decrease (3.2 per cent)

Area D – Oyster Bay-Buttle Lake: $130.69 increase (6.6 per cent)

SRD board chair Michele Babchuk says the strategic priorities being set in this round of budgeting include improving celluar and broadband connectivity in the region, as well as “building relationships with First Nations and working with the Community Health Network to improve the health and well being of our communities.”

“We also have two large-scale capital projects this year,” Babchuk says. “The Connected Coast project, which will see the placement of broadband infrastructure along the B.C. coast and around Vancouver Island and advancing the REC-REATE project to redevelop the Strathcona Recreation Complex.”

The district has been working on the REC-REATE project for the past two years and is ready to begin on the detailed schematic design for the facility, expected to be completed this year. A federal recreational infrastructure funding announcement from the federal government is expected this spring, and the district says it is “well positioned for this funding opportunity.”

The full 2018-2022 Financial Plan is available on the SRD website at strathconard.ca or at the SRD office downtown Campbell River at 990 Cedar Street.