City of Victoria shows support for business by reducing tax rate

AT the April 8 Committee of the Whole, Victoria’s Mayor and Council voted to endorse a two per cent decrease in business property taxes — about $146 for a business with an average assessed value of $647,000. During 2020, the assessed value of commercial property dropped by an average of 5.29 per cent. Residential assessed values in the city increased by 2.26 per cent.   

“We’re grateful that Victoria council has acknowledged the struggles businesses are facing with uncertain conditions and the pace of change spurred by the pandemic,” Bruce Williams, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, said on Monday. “We’re seeing many businesses working hard to successfully pivot and develop innovations that allow them to adapt. Reducing taxes during this time shows that the city wants to work with the business community, so that all of our employers and operators have a chance to get through this together.”   

The tax break reflects an adjustment to the city’s current policy of equalizing changes to taxes across all classes. If council had chosen to follow that policy, the average assessed business would have had a tax increase of $122. Instead, Victoria continues to close the gap between the business and residential share of municipal taxes, according to the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

“We want to thank City Council for recognizing the challenges businesses have faced over the last year. This is a significant and meaningful show of support for our business community,” Jeff Bray, Executive Director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association, said.  

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