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May 10, 2018

Council Approves Modest Tax Increase With 2018 Budget

Ladysmith, May 10, 2018 - This year, Ladysmith residents will experience a slight increase in property taxes as the Town continues to make significant, long-term investments that set a solid foundation for the future of the community. 
The Town's share of property taxes will increase by just over 2% based on the assessed value of each owner's property as determined by BC Assessment. 35% of all property taxes collected by the Town go directly to other agencies to pay for services like schools, the Vancouver Island Regional Library, the Cowichan Valley Regional District, and the Cowichan Regional Hospital fund.
"Council has worked hard to ensure Ladysmith's municipal share of taxes saw only a modest increase. However, we have little control over the amount of tax dollars provided by Ladysmith taxpayers to the other agencies that serve our community," said Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone. "That said, we have approved a budget for 2018 that will maintain the Town's services, still enable us to invest in key infrastructure, and allow us to move forward on our Waterfront Area Plan."
The municipal share of property tax paid for an average single family dwelling will rise slightly compared to last year. For example, a single family residential property with an assessed value of $373,500 in 2018, up approximately 16.6 per cent in market value over 2017, will pay approximately $33 more in 2018 in assessment-based municipal property taxes.
Ladysmith's total municipal taxation for 2018 is $7.961 million. This helps to pay for the ongoing costs of maintaining parks, roads and other infrastructure, keeping our community safe, running the Frank Jameson Community Centre, supporting many local community organizations, and more. There are a number of additional projects underway or planned for our community in 2018 including: 

* Working to move the Waterfront Area Plan forward
* Building the Town’s new water filtration plant 
* Carrying out upgrades to 4th Avenue 
* Completing the review of Development Cost Charges (DCCs)
* Determining the best approach to increase our water storage capacity
* Continuing to remove abandoned vessels from Ladysmith-area waters

Grants help offset some of the Town’s capital costs and reduce the burden on our taxpayers and we will continue to apply for various opportunities. 
"In 2018, we have already received $1.8 million in grant funds to help upgrade the historic Machine Shop that will feature as a Heritage and Culture hub in our Waterfront Area Plan," said Chief Administrative Officer Guillermo Ferrero. "Further, construction costs of the new water filtration plant are offset by an $8.8 million grant we received in 2017."
It is important to note that sewer and water parcel taxes make up 20% of taxes collected on an average single family home. 
Slide presentations from the budget deliberations and the budget and tax rates bylaws are available on the Town's website at www.ladysmith.ca and in hard copy from City Hall.

 Ladysmith is a spirited community that values its small town quality of life, where we work together as stewards of our heritage, environment and economy.

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