The Comox Valley Regional District began the 2021 financial planning process in the summer of 2020 under the Rethink Comox Valley lens, which the board endorsed in the spring to direct a review of all 98 services provided by the CVRD to consider how each had been impacted by COVID-19.
On Tuesday, March 30, after extensive reviews, presentations and analysis, the board approved the consolidated 2021-2025 financial plan.
“The plan provides a net overall tax requisition decrease of 0.64 per cent from 2020, at a total tax requisition of $35,462,275 in 2021 from $35,688,983 in 2020,” said Kevin Douville, manager of financial planning. “Additionally, the majority of parcel taxes for water, sewer and parks services were maintained at the same 2020 level, with a net decrease of 0.74 per cent. We’ve heard from the community during the pandemic and evaluated all the ways in which we could provide some relief to taxpayers while continuing to invest strategically in integral regional services to support recovery over the short- and long-term.”
The overall property tax impact to each Comox Valley homeowner will depend on the unique mix of regional district services to which they contribute, plus other factors such as:
•Fluctuations in a property’s annual assessed value (based on the revised BC Assessment roll);
•Year-over-year changes in taxation from other jurisdictions/authorities: the Province of BC (including school and police); Vancouver Island Regional Library; Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District; and others such as Islands Trust and UBID.
Highlights of capital projects budgeted in the 2021-2025 financial plan include:
•Completion and commissioning of the $126 million Comox Valley Water Treatment Plant;
•Design and construction of the $73 million sewer conveyance project;
•Construction of the regional organic composting facility in Campbell River;
•Construction of fire halls for both the Greater Merville and Mount Washington fire protection areas;
•Completion of up to $790,000 in Aquatic Centre maintenance and capital work during COVID closure period.
The impacts of COVID-19 provided an opportunity to Rethink service delivery, and to determine where cost savings measures could be realized in the short- and long-term, as well as determine more efficient and strategic ways to deliver services throughout the region.
“Looking for cost efficiencies, providing regional emergency response, and supporting the most vulnerable in our region has been a core focus for the past year,” board chair Jesse Ketler said. “By working together, listening to each other’s needs, and supporting one another, we have created a stronger, more resilient community together.”