Posted by: Editor | June 1, 2010

How Much are We Worth?

How Much are We Worth?

– Measuring the true “value” of Esquimalt

Wow! Like many of you this past week, I received by property tax notice in the mail and it was a jump, a rather high jump. Suffice to say, I was expecting a figure a fair bit more south than what I will have to hand over to Esquimalt’s municipal coffers. That got me thinking about the true value of Esquimalt property and how we go about determining our community’s “value”.

When most people think about the various communities of the Capital Regional District, places like Oak Bay often get top consideration as the most valuable land while Esquimalt—rather unfairly—gets the short shrift. Those of us that actually live here in Esquimalt, however, see our community as a very precious place. Sure, we have experienced the on-again, off-again promises of building a better, more aesthetically pleasing use of our land. Maybe, it will happen one day and maybe it won’t. Nevertheless, there are other more meaningful ways for measuring a community’s value.

Esquimalt’s value is not so much about dollars. Yes, we have the “location, location, location” aspect that realtors love to go on about. Our close proximity to the water, green spaces, and downtown Victoria satisfy all those checkboxes. But, more than that, we have a much higher value that comes from being a strong community.

Our community is active, engaged, and committed to providing a place that we all feel great affection for. That became quite apparent when a group of residents assembled last month at Municipal Hall to provide their input on the true meaning of Esquimalt. The gathering came as a result of an open invitation by Esquimalt’s Centennial Planning Committee to help define Esquimalt’s “brand” in preparation of our municipality’s fast-approaching 100th birthday in 2012.  

The meeting’s facilitator was Victoria Symphony music director and Esquimalt resident, Peter McCoppin, who led the enthusiastic group in a manner not unlike conducting a lively movement of music.

Our history, our geography, our uniqueness, and most importantly, our people were all articulated with the confidence of a fine-tuned orchestra. The lesson: Esquimalt has great value, a very special kind of value that surpasses anything that our property assessments, tax notices, and realtors can measure.

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Responses

  1. Maybe our history, geography, and people give the community great value but at what cost. I cannot afford to keep paying taxes that rise faster than any wage increase. I really think that we should be seriously looking at amalgamation to help lower the costs our taxes are subsidizing. We best forget completely about a town village plan (which I never supported in the first place under Clement). I look at the crazy corner on Colville and Admirals and think of the money spent on an intersection that was never in need of having a hundred traffic lights. We seem to spend money on infrastructure which is a great thing but we need moderation and we need to lower taxes. If I were on a fixed income I would have to consider selling. This cannot continue.

    • You can’t be for real on the amalgamation thing. Look at what our police budget is doing for our taxes, 6 + million dollars on what, 1/2 used office space and cops only when their is nothing happening downtown. The cost for the Victoria police to Police us is twice what we are paying our fire department, To put it another way if we hired our own police officers we would have 5 to 6 cops in ESQUIMALT FULL TIME at 1/2 the price of what it is now. If we hired Saanich or the RCMP to do our policing at a more realistic price tag of 4 to 4.5 million that would be 2 million a year off our taxes.

      The intersection on Coville is a mess I agree, but Dockyard paid for most of it.

      Is your solution to the town centre just to leave the run down buildings as they are (not collecting any property taxes). The town centre was and is the right idea we just need politicians to act on it and stop paying for more studies. 3 years to wait on this thing is 4 years to late, Get it started already.

      I don’t like paying taxes when the money is wasted and under amalgamation we will have less say in how our money is spent. At least we have a say on how our money is spent. Under any amalgamation model Esquimalt residents wouldn’t have enough votes to impact change, and our tax money would be spent else where.


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