The Town of Lake Cowichan is eyeing a two per cent tax hike confirmed Mayor Bob Day. (File photo)

The Town of Lake Cowichan is eyeing a two per cent tax hike confirmed Mayor Bob Day. (File photo)

Town of Lake Cowichan taxes set to increase by less than expected

Surplus funds to help reduce hike from 3% to 2% this year

The Town of Lake Cowichan has settled on a two per cent tax increase for its portion of property owners’ annual tax bills.

“It’s all but done, it’s just the formalities now,” confirmed Lake Cowichan Mayor Bob Day on March 26.

He noted the budget is to be finalized within the coming weeks.

Residents had been looking at a three per cent increase but council opted for two per cent instead, according to Joseph Fernandez.

Fernandez, chief administrative officer for the Town of Lake Cowichan, said the budget process had moved forward during a Tuesday, March 23 meeting.

SEE RELATED: Lake Cowichan council briefs: Water treatment plant a success, taxes going up

“We were looking at a three per cent increase but council decided they wanted it lower than that,” Fernandez said.

The reduced hike doesn’t mean reduced services however.

“They decided to use some surplus revenues so that no cuts were made,” he explained.

It does come at a cost, though.

In a memo to mayor and council, the CAO noted their ultimate decision didn’t show restraint.

“Instead of eliminating the deficit in the general estimates, an additional $22,000 was added to the deficit requiring a total transfer from the general surplus of $91,533 to accommodate a lower tax increase, a not altogether prudent move,” Fernandez wrote.

Mayor Day said there were solid arguments to be made on both sides and council made their decision with trepidation.

“Staff, and even ourselves, were torn there on both sides that it’s not good to take away surplus at all because it’s money that’s set aside for those rainy day things,” Day said.

The mayor explained that when the town applies for large grants from other government sectors — provincial and federal — there is usually a cost-sharing agreement in place where the local government has to put up one-third of the cost of the project. That’s what the surplus funds are for.

“I’m not a fan [of using surplus funds to lower taxes] but the other choice was to cut projects and council was more in favour of dipping into the surplus this year,” he said, citing COVID-19 as a reason for keeping the increase lower.

Town taxes are only a portion of residents’ overall tax bills with the likes of school district, regional district, and hospital district taxes also adding to the bill.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Lake CowichanProperty taxes

Just Posted

Robert’s column
Robert Barron Column: Poachers in forest reserve should be treated harshly

‘Poachers need to be rounded up and prosecuted as soon as possible’

Can you dig it? Crofton In Bloom volunteers certainly can. From left: Trayci Lepp, Tony Lamley, Bonnie Lamley, Mary Patient and Jane Grueber. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Community pride grows from volunteer group’s beautification efforts

All ages contribute to Crofton In Bloom’s objectives

An object in motion stays in motion. An object at rest stays at rest. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: This mother is grinning and bearing it

News broke the other day that, after months in hibernation, Grouse Mountain’s… Continue reading

An online cooking lesson with Ian Blom, the Red Seal Chef from the Ainslie Restaurant, is one of the items on auction in a fundraiser for the Duncan Curling Club and other causes. (Submitted photo)
Online action being held to assist Duncan Curling Club and other causes

Auction, run by the Duncan Rotary Club, closes May 22

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read