May 13, 2021

Council approves 0.52 per cent property tax increase

Ladysmith Council has approved a 0.52 per cent municipal tax increase for 2021 as the Town continues ongoing work to renew aging infrastructure, upgrade public facilities and improve the high level of service delivery that property owners have come to expect.

The tax rate bylaws were adopted at a Special Meeting of Council on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.

“On behalf of Council, thank you to Town staff for their hard work in presenting such a strong budget during a global pandemic,  balancing both the need for fiscal responsibility with improvements reflecting the needs of the community,”  said Mayor Aaron Stone.  “The 2021 Budget prioritizes projects contained within Council’s Strategic Plan, focusing particularly on public amenities that get people outside and ongoing investments that help tackle our infrastructure deficit.”

Residential property owners are reminded that the Town is no longer processing Home Owner Grants (HOGs) as of this year. Instructions on how to claim your HOG through the Province are included on your 2021 Tax Notice, which will be mailed to you shortly.

You can also visit the Province’s website for more information on these changes:

Each year, property taxes help to cover the ongoing operational costs of roadwork, water and sewer projects, other infrastructure improvements, maintaining parks, facilities, keeping our community safe, providing recreational services and programs, and much more. The Town does not control tax rates set by other jurisdictions or agencies such as School District, Vancouver Island Regional Library, and Cowichan Valley Regional District.

The overall budget increase was over 2 per cent, however, this was reduced with revenue from new developments as well as the use of Provincial COVID-19 relief funds that made up for the loss in recreation revenues.

A short list of capital projects contained within the 2021 Budget, include:

  • Watermain replacement on French Street – Replacing the existing cast iron watermain between 1st and 2nd Avenue proactively avoids further repair work.
  • 1st Avenue Bollards - Installing next phase of bollards to ensure pedestrian safety in the downtown. 
  • Oyster Bay Road sewer main upgrade – Upgrading the sewer main on Rocky Creek Road.
  • Cemetery fence and gate – Installing a new fence and gate.
  • Water service line repairs – A dedicated crew assigned to complete full replacement of recently repaired copper service lines, improving the reliability of our water distribution system.
  • Ultra Violet light (UV) Air Filter – A UV light air filter at the Wastewater Treatment Plant to purify the air and reduce odours coming from the facility.
  • Single axle dump truck - A multi-purpose truck for snow clearing and hauling is essential for Town operations as our community grows.
  • Frank Jameson Community Centre fitness equipment – Improving the quality and overall experience of patrons through the replacement of aging cardio equipment.
  • Ladysmith Fire/Rescue command vehicle – Upgrading the duty chief’s command vehicle ensuring critical information can be reported back to responding crews.
  • Aggie Hall exhaust fan – Installing a new exhaust fan in Aggie Hall to improve airflow especially during the summer months in this well used public facility.

The budget also includes over $60,000 in Grants-in-Aid funding to support local groups and organizations working towards a broad-range of initiatives benefiting the community.

Federal and Provincial grants help to offset some of our capital costs and reduce the burden on our taxpayers and we will continue to apply for various opportunities.

The Town also received over $700,000 in grant funds from senior levels of government to upgrade amenities at Transfer Beach Park including a new public washroom facility, upgrades to the picnic shelters, additional concrete patio seating, bike racks and service stations, and a paved walkway increasing the overall accessibility of the waterfront.

Property owners are encouraged to pay their property taxes and claim their Home Owner Grant with the Province by the July 2 due date to avoid a 2 per cent penalty. Please note that an additional penalty of 8 percent will be applied to unpaid property taxes and/or unclaimed Home Owner Grants at 4:00 p.m. on September 15.

Information about the budget is available on our website at, and at City Hall. We encourage you to review the details and direct comments or questions to Town staff.

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