Ever wonder what’s on the mind of our Mayor? Well, starting today in an online exclusive, EsquimaltReview.com will feature a monthly mayoral column by Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins to provide our community with an overview of how she spent her month and a snapshot of some of the major issues that Esquimalt Municipal Hall is encountering.
Mayor’s Monthly Musings for May, 2010
-By Mayor Barb Desjardins
May 2010 in Esquimalt has been a very active month both for our municipal staff and myself as Mayor, and for your municipal council. This is to be expected with the deadline of May 15th for the Municipality to have its budget, and therefore tax rate set.
I am already hearing from many residents and businesses of the surprise they got when receiving their tax notice this year. The increase you see in your property taxes is the result of an increase in property assessment in Esquimalt, coupled with an increase in tax levies by CRD, BC Transit, Schools and the municipality’s increase of 3.9%.
Municipalities have a challenge. How do we continue to provide the services we do on only 8% of your total tax outlay? Were you aware of this? The federal government collects 50%, the province 42% and municipalities 8% of all tax revenues.
In Esquimalt we have a challenge. You receive significant services. Esquimalt, with a population of approximately 17000, provides it’s own fire service, recreation services, public works and police (shared with Victoria) services. These services are where 78% of your municipal tax dollars are spent.
These are tremendous resources and benefit for our community that come at a cost.
Council and staff worked very hard to minimize your tax increase this year.
I am determined to continue to look at ways and means of providing the environment within Esquimalt, that can create greater tax base and greater revenues for the municipality, without, digging significantly further into your already stretched pockets.
And now for something completely different……
May has been a significant month for our neighbors, CFB Esquimalt, and the Pacific Fleet of Canada’s Navy. I have had the honor of being your representative at several Navy centennial events. I look forward to the International Fleet review, which happens to occur on the weekend of Esquimalt annual Buccaneer Days celebration this June.
I would welcome your thoughts and feedback regarding this article or other issues that may come up. I can be found many ways but email@example.com or 250-414-7100 is a great start.
Mayor, Township of Esquimalt