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Victoria's 6% tax increase relatively low among CRD estimates this year


Residents of B.C.'s capital will be paying slightly less in property taxes this year than expected.

On Thursday, city council voted to lower the property tax rate increase from about seven per cent to six per cent.

Despite the modest drop, the rate is still relatively high. Last year, property taxes went up by less than four per cent compared to the year before.

Councillor Chris Coleman proposed slightly lowering property taxes, and a majority of councillors supported the plan.

The drop from a seven per cent increase to a six per cent increase is expected to save the average household $84, and the average business $215.

"This is a tough time for taxpayers. The inflationary increases hit everybody," said Coleman.

Meanwhile, councillor Jeremy Coardonna voted against lowering the proposed tax increase, saying that doing so will delay contributions to the city's reserve funds, which could go towards paying for the city's parkades and debt reduction.

"So to my mind, good fiscal prudence, even in a high inflationary year, requires us to be replenishing our reserves," he said.

Coleman says that even with a lower tax increase this year, funds will still be making their way to the city's coffers.

"We're still contributing to them, but we can pass on some savings, and that ends up back in the pockets of the taxpayer," he said.

Elsewhere on the island, property taxes are expected to increase at an even higher rate.

The District of Saanich expects its tax rate to go up by 7.1 per cent this year, Nanaimo expects a rise of 7.3 per cent, and Oak Bay's taxes are expected to jump by nine per cent.

"Oak Bay's tax increase in 2023 – we started off with about 11.7 per cent and through the budgeting process we're down to around nine per cent at this point," said Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch. Top Stories

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