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SCRD property tax hike approved

SCRD property tax hike approved

The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) budget for 2017 was adopted at the March 23 Board Meeting.

The overall tax increase over the 2016 budget year is 3.5 per cent. The residential impact in each electoral area varies depending on the services provided and changes in assessment (market) values relative to other areas, and changes in assessment values relative to other property taxes.

“In an effort to align the budget process with the Board’s strategic goals, staff developed a set of criteria to assist with prioritizing the various project proposals to provide a corporate perspective,” says Garry Nohr, SCRD Board Chair. “The purpose was to ensure that the various departments are working together to create better strategic alignment.”

Projects were prioritized based on four key criteria – mandatory/business continuity; direct link to the SCRD’s Strategic Plan; identified in the SCRD’s integrated five-year plan; and low cost and high value.

“Asset management was an integral part of many of the approved projects, providing a framework for analyzing and planning for infrastructure and other assets,” says Tina Perreault, SCRD Chief Financial Officer. “Our enterprise asset management system will allow for better planning and preventative maintenance programs to extend the life of SCRD assets.”

Major projects that have received funding for the 2017-2021 Financial Plan include a transit expansion, preventative maintenance for various SCRD buildings, several projects for regional solid waste resulting from changes in regulatory standards and increased program costs.

Budgets were also approved for ports repairs to Keats Landing, Gambier Harbour, Halfmoon Bay, Vaucroft, West Bay, Port Graves, Halkett Bay, and Eastbourne. These repairs are also partially funded by the federal Canada 150 grant.

Other projects that also received funding include upgrades to the Gibsons and District Public Library Building including replacing the HVAC, and a roof replacement for Frank West Hall / Cliff Mahlman Fire Station.

In addition to the newly approved projects, the SCRD continues to work on over 50 previously approved projects such as the Chapman Lake expansion project, universal water metering for the rural areas, and capital improvements to the community recreation facilities.

The SCRD Board also approved ongoing funding to many of its community stakeholders such as community schools, youth outreach, economic development initiatives, increases to museum and public library funding, as well as ongoing commitments for rural grants-in-aid for community groups benefiting the region as a whole.

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