It will be another couple of days before the City of Victoria responds to the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board’s decision not to cut its budget.
After more than an hour of meeting behind closed doors Monday to get legal advice, Victoria city council determined the matter needed more study and would be dealt with at its Thursday committee of the whole meeting.
Last week, the police board informed the city it was not prepared to amend its draft budget as the city had requested.
The city, wanting to limit a property tax increase to 6.9 per cent this year, had directed its staff to rewrite a draft budget to limit any tax hike for 2023 to the rate of inflation.
It had requested the police rewrite its budget with that cap in mind.
The draft police budget had anticipated a 9.6 per cent increase in costs to $69.5 million for 2023, driven by increased salaries.
VicPD also requested funding for seven new staff, four civilian personnel and three frontline officers.
Victoria is responsible for 86.33 per cent of the police budget, with Esquimalt picking up the rest of the tab.
In a letter to council, police board finance committee chair Doug Crowder said removing items from the budget would conflict with the board’s “legislative requirement to provide adequate and effective policing.”
A property tax rise of 6.9 per cent this year would translate into a $251 increase for an average household and a $646 increase for a typical business in the city.
The city’s updated financial plan proposes increased parking rates on the street and in parkades, while some spending could be trimmed.
>>> To comment on this article, write a letter to the editor: email@example.com