Residential tax rates in Saanich are inching closer to those in Victoria, and are significantly higher for businesses, according to 2020 figures released by the municipalities.
“Property taxes are in the mail,” says Stan Bartlett, chair of Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria.
“Home and business owners in Saanich and Victoria – the two largest municipalities – are especially interested in their tax demand and how they compare.”
While both municipalities present their rates differently to the public. The total tax rate for residences in Saanich is 5.0083 compared to 5.0417 in Victoria. That figure includes tax demands for the CRD, hospital, school, and so on. Saanich’s school taxes vary slightly depending on which school district you live in.
Of note, if you look at just the municipal portion of the tax demand, Saanich and Victoria are also relatively close at 3.0810 and 3.1152.
But, business tax rates are a different story: The total business tax rate is 15.8421 in Saanich, compared to 13.8238 in Victoria, a significant difference.
“Tax rates are topical: There’s an unprecedented economic downturn. Victoria brought in a zero per cent tax increase, while Saanich increased its demand by 2.4 per cent. The two municipalities are early in the process of fact-finding and exploring amalgamation,” says Bartlett.
REPRESENTATIVE HOUSE TAX COMPARISON
Jim Anderson of Amalgamation Yes recently took Saanich to task in a press release entitled “Premature platitudes by Saanich council” for its claims of historically lower taxes than the average of other CRD municipalities.
The Residential Tax Burden per Capita is a flawed measure used by Saanich and is not used by the province in assessing property tax burden. The true calculation is ‘representative house’ because each resident in the residence doesn’t pay taxes and fees he says. A per capita analysis doesn’t account for the impact of demographics, such as residents in rental and seniors housing, and age composition, he says.
“A completely different picture emerges in the case of Saanich and Victoria homeowners,” says Anderson.
The past seven year average of municipal taxes and charges for Saanich residential owners is $3,506, versus that of Victoria at $3,480, a negligible difference of less than 1%, with Victoria slightly lower.