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SCRD and hospital district 2024 budgets pass

Both documents went from first to fourth readings in single meeting sessions on Feb. 22 with no directors voting in opposition to either. 
N.SCRD rec

Feb. 22 saw two current year budget bylaws agreed to by regional district directors.

The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) five-year (2024-2028) financial plan passed with no debate at its board's regular meeting. In a less than five-minute-long Regional Hospital District (RHD) meeting that followed, the 2024 spending plan for that entity was given the nod. Both documents went from first to fourth readings in single meeting sessions, with no directors voting in opposition to either. 

The regional district has endorsed a budget with $65.3 million in expenditures planned for this year. While the final assessment role is still being finalized, the property taxation rates needed to fund the coming year’s operations at that local government will require between an eight and a 13 per cent increase over 2023 levels on the region’s portion of 2024 property taxes, according to an SCRD press release issued on Feb. 21.

That document cited key initiatives the local government has planned for the year, including the connection of Cliff Gilker park playing field irrigation to an onsite well, repairs and capital improvements to five of the docks that serve Gambier and Keats Islands, and “continued exploration of groundwater sources, work on a raw water reservoir, rehabilitation of watermains and maintenance of the Chapman Water Treatment Plant."

This year’s budget funded an 11.4 person-year increase in staff employed at the regional district.

At this point future years look to have similar dollar value budget targets. The bylaw shows allocations for spending in each year between 2025 and 2028 at just under $60 million, and that is before any new initiatives for those periods are considered. 

Small drop in hospital property tax levy anticipated

Regional Hospital District function spending is allocated on a year-at-a-time basis.  Approved for 2024 are expenditures totalling $2.48 million. That is down from the 2023 allocation of $2.74 million and will knock a few pennies off this year’s tax levy for local properties. Of that value, just over $1.5 million needs to be collected via 2024 property taxes. Pending finalization of tax role values, a staff report on the RHD's Feb. 22 meeting agenda noted that “the estimated residential tax rate (per $100,000 of assessed value) based on the 2024 Provisional Budget is $6.60, down from $6.63 in 2023."