The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) is ready to explain plans for its portion of Coasters' 2022 property taxes in public meetings starting Jan. 12. All sessions can be attended online and recordings of the events will be posted to scrd.ca and available on the SCRD’s YouTube channel.
The regional district board completed round one of its 2022 budget discussions on Dec. 15. Based on that debate, initial estimates for increases to the SCRD’s portion of property taxes were estimated at between four and 12.6 percent over 2021 levels. These vary depending on the electoral area involved and the regional services that the areas participate in.
Public presentations by staff and Area directors on the details from the round one discussions will start with a session focusing on Area D (Roberts Creek), Area E (Elphinstone) and Area F (West Howe Sound) on Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. Information tailored to Area A (Egmont/Pender Harbor) and Area B (Halfmoon Bay) will be presented Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.
Those interested in taking part should go to scrd.ca, click on the Let’s Talk Budget section. On that section of the website, links to access those meetings along with a variety of other 2022 budget information resources are available.
SCRD chief financial officer, Tina Perrault is scheduled to attend Gibsons and Sechelt council meetings, to provide 2022 SCRD budget details for those areas and to answer questions from the public. Those presentations are to be included in the Jan. 18 meeting in Gibsons and a meeting on Jan. 19 in Sechelt. Both sessions convene at 7 p.m.
SCRD communications manager Aidan Buckley advised Coast Reporter that options for budget information sessions for residents of the Sechelt Indian Government District are being discussed with the shíshálh Nation council. The date and format for that session has not been finalized.
Following those public sessions, SCRD 2022 spending plans are slated to be further debated by the board in round two sessions scheduled for Jan. 24 to 26. Budget adoption and tax rate finalization is required by the end of March.
The Coast’s municipalities are also in the midst of developing their current year budgets at meetings that are open to the public.
Debate on planning for spending on town operations in Gibsons is slated to begin on Jan. 25, at a 3 p.m. committee of the whole meeting. Throughout February, March and April there will be a number of meetings to finalize financial plans, with adoption of this year’s budget currently forecast for May 3. Details on public access to those meetings is available at gibsons.ca.
The District of Sechelt has adjusted the timeline it set for the current year’s budget from the version released last November. It completed its preliminary budget review and public consultation in December. Introduction of its 2022-2026 financial plan bylaw is being postponed, according to an email from communications manager Lindsay Vickers.
“Initial (bylaw) readings will not be on the Jan. 19 Council meeting. We will come back to Council with the 2022-2026 five year financial plan once we have the new assessment information and carry forward projects. The revised assessment roll comes out around the middle of March, so we will be waiting until then for that information.”
Vickers said that the first round of data released by BC Assessment Authority in early January valued Sechelt’s 2022 total property tax roll at $5.24 billion. The finalized 2021 roll value was $3.86 billion.
Those interested in attending meetings or finding out more about Sechelt’s 2022 budget can visit sechelt.ca for information.