The Township of Esquimalt has adopted its 2022 budget and tax rates, resulting in a 4.92-per-cent tax increase this year.
The move will see the average assessed value residence pay $131 more in property taxes compared to last year, while a typical business will see a $614 increase.
The 4.92-per-cent hike was the lowest of four options presented to council, with the three other options proposing increases of either 5.51 or 5.95 per cent.
During deliberations, councillors noted the lowest increase would be the most appropriate, given the cost of living challenges currently facing residents.
Taxes will generate almost $32 million in revenue and the township will see a surplus of $152,000 this year, according to Esquimalt staff. Council decided to put that surplus into its contingency fund to get it back to normal levels.
Police core budget costs, deer management and election costs are also contributing expenses, she said.
Esquimalt aims to strike a balance between achieving its strategic goals while t also funding day-to-day needs and infrastructure maintenance, the mayor added.
Councillors rejected a VicPD request to fund 10 new positions, which would’ve cost the township about $150,000 this year for its portion.
Esquimalt has said it’s already overpaying for police services.
There’s currently a provincial appeal over the decision not to fund the VicPD non-core budget requests.
Contributing to this year’s tax increase are debt costs related to the township’s new public safety building. Esquimalt said those payments will continue, but will be incrementally lower in the coming years.
The assessed value of the average Esquimalt residential property was up 22 per cent compared to 2021, staff said last month.
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