Municipal Council Considering Tax Shift - North Cowichan

On January 25, 2012, the Municipality of North Cowichan issued a media release noting that the main challenge facing the Municipality is its reliance on taxes collected from Class 4 - Major Industry. Council is concerned that one taxpayer, currently facing creditor protection, is responsible for 26% of all property taxes collected by the Municipality. To reduce this reliance and minimize financial risk to the Municipality, Municipal Council was considering a shift in property taxes from Class 4 Major Industry to Class 1 Residential of up to $350 per average home.

On March 26, 2012, Council held a Committee of the Whole meeting to review the anticipated 3.85% increase in general municipal taxes, and an incremental tax shift of between $300 and $350 per average residential home. At this meeting, Council discussed its goals for a tax rate structure and distribution that:

- establishes a competitive tax rate structure,

- reduces reliance on major industry to minimize financial risk,

- increases competitiveness of industry and business in North Cowichan,

- ensures there are reserve balances sufficient to absorb any tax losses, and

- reduces reliance on debt to finance capital projects.

Council will be convening a Committee of the Whole meeting at 6pm on Monday, April 2, 2012, to discuss a tax shift of up to $350 to the average residential home in North Cowichan. Members of the public are invited to attend this meeting at the Municipal Hall to provide input to Council on this proposal.