Residents in Sooke are concerned about the imminent tax hikes to pay for the new sewer system.

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Sooke residential property taxes the third lowest in Capital Region

By Mitch Moneo in Sooke News Mirror July 4, 2001

Despite a higher than anticipated tax increase this year, Sooke residential propery owners pay less municipal tax than most of their neighbours.

The Sooke municipal tax rate is now 2.94. Only Metchosin at 2.37 and North Saanich at 2.17 have lower residential tax rates than the District of Sooke.

In comparison Langford, with the fourth lowest taxed residential property owners, had a tax rate of 3.5.

Sooke’s current tax rate sits well with Worried Residents Against Tax Hikes vice-president George OBriain.

But O’Briain fears Sooke council’s initiative to service the core area with sewers will make Sooke unaffordable.

“Metchosin and North Saanich are rural areas and don’t have sewer systems. That’s why their taxes are low. If we go ahead with this sewer initiative our taxes will rise to the point where no one will want to live in Sooke.”

OBriain notes that many people choose to reside in Sooke and commute to work in Victoria because housing is affordable.

The estimated average residential tax in Sooke is $1,440, compared with $1,742 in Langford or $1,871 in Colwood.

OBriain said that if Sooke’s taxes were to increase by the $629 that council has estimated on its infrastructure grant application, the average Sooke property owner will pay $2,069 -- considerably more than Langford and Colwood which have more shops and services and are a closer commute to Victoria.

“It could even be more than that, if (the sewer system’s) operating and maintenance is added on to that number. I have to research that.”

Sooke taxes are anticipated to rise by five per cent next year and another five per cent the following year.

The municipality is doing its best to encourage business in Sooke. The business tax rate, at 8.03 is the third lowest in the Capital Region. only Oak Bay with a municipal tax rate at 7.49 and Central Saanich at 7.90 are lower.

After Sooke, Metchosin with a business tax rate of 8.31 and Langford at 8.80 are the next lowest.



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