Victoria City Council hears back on the 2020 draft budget response (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Victorians overwhelmingly opposed to 55% council raise

Results from the 2020 draft budget survey are coming to council

Victoria residents offered a resounding ‘no’ when asked if councillors should receive a 55 per cent pay raise.

In a report coming to the committee of the whole on Thursday, staff lay out how the public responded to an online budget survey that had been available from Nov. 6-24.

A total of 5,110 people responded to the survey, something staff called a “significant increase from previous years.”

One of the questions on the survey brought forward many people, asking citizens if city councillors should receive a $25,700 raise to meet the median income of city employees, excluding firefighters and police officers. In response, 86 per cent of respondents said they strongly disagreed with the idea.

READ MORE: Victoria councillors ask taxpayers for opinions on 55 per cent wage increase

The proposal received a visceral response from the public, with municipal watchdog The Grumpy Taxpayer$ calling the move “boneheaded,” and the Chamber of Commerce calling it out of line.

Overall, survey takers said that the spending on the operating categories were “just right” with the exception of the Victoria Police Budget which was “too low.” Respondents also felt evenly split about the operating budget for sustainable planning, with some saying it was “just right” and others saying it was “too high.”

READ MORE: Municipal watchdog calls Victoria councillors’ request for salary increase ‘boneheaded’

When asked how the City should use the 2019 surplus, the majority (58 per cent) answered “save for future infrastructure investment.”

When asked how the city should use the new property tax revenue generated from new developments, the most popular choice (55 per cent) was to “reduce tax increase.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnew.com

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