Average Victoria residential property tax hike: $97

The average Victoria homeowner with a property assessed at $805,000 will see a $97 increase in their city property taxes this year.

The increase for the typical business assessed at $644,000 will be $277.

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Council had already decided on a budget with an overall increase of 3.98 per cent. In setting the tax rate, councillors determined how that increase would be shared among property classes, deciding all should share the burden equally, with the exception of major and light industrial properties.

“I think this is balanced in terms of protecting residential property owners from increases that would exceed their ability to pay in terms of being not too far out of whack from the rate of inflation, while still not having too much of a negative impact on business,” said Coun. Ben Isitt.

Susanne Thompson, the city’s director of finance, said the overall revenue from the increase in property taxes is $5.2 million.

The increases in city property taxes for residences and businesses are equal to 3.97 per cent.

“When we include utilities, because those had a lower increases than the tax increase, the average increase for a residential property is 3.52 per cent and for a business property is 3.77 per cent,” Thompson said.

The exact amount of a property’s tax increase will depend on changes to assessed value, she said.

“Properties with assessments that increased above the average for their property class will see a higher per cent increase in property taxes payable and vice versa,” she said. “So if you have a lower-than-average change in the property you will have a lower impact to your taxes.”

Assessed values for business properties increased an average of 10.06 per cent this year, compared with 8.33 per cent increase for residential properties, Thompson said, something that was a reversal from the past two years.

For major and light industrial properties, property tax changes will depend on changes to assessments, which saw greater increases than other classes.

About 60 per cent of the tax bill is the city’s share, while about 40 per cent is for other entities such as the school district and the Capital Regional District.

The $97 figure is the increase for the municipal portion of the tax bill, which in 2018 was about $2,440 for the average property. The average total residential property tax bill — including all agencies — was about $4,070.

The typical business paid about $6,800 in municipal taxes and about $11,300 overall.

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