The Strathcona Regional District is looking at a total taxation increase of 19.4 per cent in this year’s financial plan, but that does not mean it will affect every community the same way.
Each municipality and electora area in the regional district will have different tax amounts, since each pay for different things. The budget has not yet been approved. With municipalities, the average household tax change ranges from a $72.03 increase for the average household in Campbell River to a decrease of $2.72 per average household in Zeballos. Gold River is looking at a $5.81 increase, Sayward at $9.31, Tahsis at $0.62 and the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations with $0.06.
Driving the increase for Campbell River is Strathcona Gardens, which will make up just over $64 of the total $72.03 average increase. Government Administration will drive the change for the other municipalities.
Electoral areas will see larger increases, because the SRD covers all services that would be provided by a municipality. The largest increase will be in Electora Area B (Cortes Island), which is slated for a $323.90 increase for the average household. Area A (Kyuquot) will have the lowest at $29.99 on average. Area A (Sayward) will see $127.20 on average and Area C (Quadra Island) will have the lowest at $72.33 per average household. Area D is looking at a $300 average increase.
The major boost for Area A will be for the Sayward Valley Fire Protection service, which is slated for an increase of $93.25 on average. Area B (Cortes) is also seeing fire protection as their major increase, jumping up $245.51 on average due to a need to replace the fleet and upgrade equipment coming up. Area C’s increase will be more diffuse, with planning, parks and the community hall subsidy as the largest increases. Area D will be seeing the largest increase in its community parks function, jumping $202.98 on average for various park improvments.
The budget has not yet received third reading, though that is expected for the March 15 board meeting.
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