North Cowichan council has made a resolution directing staff to bring in a tax increase of 2.95 percent, down from the proposed rate of 3.25 percent just a few weeks ago.

This will mark the fourth straight year the tax rate increases are less than three percent.

At the beginning of the budget process, there was talk that the tax rate increase would be excessive but, council has pushed some of the cost of the new RCMP detachment forward, meaning the tax rate will be higher next year.

Mayor Al Siebring said council and staff have done an outstanding job of keeping tax increases at less than three percent.

“We’ve gone from seven and a half percent notionally, down to a couple of weeks ago, we were at 3.25 and we’re now back down under three percent. I think that is a psychologically important threshold to stay under,” said Siebring. “To be clear, next year we’re not going to be under three percent because this RCMP station is unavoidable, there’s going to be some tax increases that are going to hit us next year for that.”

Siebring said some of the costs for that new RCMP detachment have been bumped forward.

“Originally, there was talk of a seven and a half percent increase for North Cowichan, nevermind the CVRD, just North Cowichan,” said Siebring. “That was with some staffing and some other stuff that was coming up and there was also some money in there for the RCMP station, some of that has been bumped ahead.”

The five-year financial plan will be built around that 2.95 percent tax rate increase.

When you get your tax notice, you will see a few different taxing agencies on your bill, North Cowichan’s is separate from the requisition the CVRD collects.

Recent Tax Increases:

2018: 2.29%
2017: 2.87%
2016: 2.30%
2015: 3.21%
2014: 2.70%
2013: 3.70%
2012: 4.10%
2011: 11.30%
2010: 7.10%