By Kim Westad, Victoria Times Colonist, April 20, 2012
Victoria residents face a 3.25 per cent municipal tax increase this year. The city’s governance and priorities committee approved the increase Thursday.
Victoria also intends to shift more of the tax burden onto residential taxpayers from businesses.
In years past, Victoria businesses have paid 3.59 times the property taxes that residents pay, or 49.4 per cent of the taxes.
The committee voted in favour of reducing that to 48 per cent over three years, although it wasn’t unanimous.
“There is an inordinate burden being put on businesses downtown,” said Coun. Geoff Young.
“It is incumbent on us to achieve a fairer system and to recognize the economic plight of the downtown. We have to make sure we do what we can to maintain the downtown core as the heart of the region.”
Coun. Lisa Helps said the change results in a $6 increase for her residential taxes. “I’ll pay $6 for a more vibrant downtown.” Councillors Ben Isitt and Pam Madoff voted against the change, saying residential taxpayers are already paying inordinately high taxes because of Victoria property values.