During the year 2011, Surrey with a population of 468,251 collected $54,645,913 less in taxes for municipal purposes than the CRD 13 with a population of 335,256. (Surrey collected $259,526,000 while the CRD collected $314,171,913 – these were taxes for municipal purposes only – they do not include taxes collected for other governments, e.g. Schools, Hospital Levy, Regional District, etc).
Assuming an average family size in Greater Victoria of 3 people – there were 111,752 families in the CRD in 2011 – dividing $54,645,913 (excess amount paid by CRD residents) by 111,752 families, each family in the CRD paid $488.00 more than the same family in Surrey. Surrey has a large paid Fire Department and the contract with the RCMP for policing exceeds the cumulative cost of the 4 municipal police forces and the RCMP contracts in Greater Victoria.
Re: “Hefty bus-tax hike eyed for homeowners,” Sept. 14.
Mayor Frank Leonard of Saanich is concerned about the proposed double-digit tax increase proposed by B.C. Transit, and he suggests that efficiencies would result from a regionally operated transit system. He is right.
While the mayor is worrying about the level of municipal taxation, I suggest he expand his area of concern to include the cost of other regional municipal services.
What about the economies associated with a single police force rather than having seven police chiefs in the region? How about considering one fire and emergency-response system instead of 13? How much money would that save? What about the savings involved in having one city hall rather than 13? What about the saving to everyone if there were one set of zoning bylaws and one set of building standards in the region instead of 13?
While we are talking about it, how much money would we save the local taxpayers if we halted the evolution the Capital Regional District into a fourth level of government?
A good start, Mayor Leonard. Now it is time to seriously look at amalgamation of the municipalities in the capital region.