Budget 2024

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The District is committed to ensuring fiscal responsibility while responding to the needs of a growing community. To best invest your tax dollars, we need to hear from you!

Our annual budget survey is your opportunity to tell us about your opinion on service priorities for the District of Sooke. By joining the budget conversation and staying connected throughout the process, residents will learn:

  • opportunities and limitations of the district’s budget; and
  • what projects and service changes are planned within the five-year financial plan.

Engage with us!

The District of Sooke’s participatory budget process includes two phases of engagement:

  • Phase one: Budget Survey and community conversations at local markets from June 21, 2023 to August 20, 2023.
  • Phase two: Budget Open House - date: to be confirmed


The District is committed to ensuring fiscal responsibility while responding to the needs of a growing community. To best invest your tax dollars, we need to hear from you!

Our annual budget survey is your opportunity to tell us about your opinion on service priorities for the District of Sooke. By joining the budget conversation and staying connected throughout the process, residents will learn:

  • opportunities and limitations of the district’s budget; and
  • what projects and service changes are planned within the five-year financial plan.

Engage with us!

The District of Sooke’s participatory budget process includes two phases of engagement:

  • Phase one: Budget Survey and community conversations at local markets from June 21, 2023 to August 20, 2023.
  • Phase two: Budget Open House - date: to be confirmed


  • Thank You for Engaging in the Sooke Budget Open House

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    The District extends our heartfelt thanks to all who participated in the Sooke Community Budget Open House, marking the successful conclusion of the second phase of public participation on our engagement on the budget. Your active involvement and valuable feedback are crucial in shaping the future of our community.

    As we move forward, we want to share some important next steps in the budget process:

    1. Adoption of the Five-Year Financial Plan: The five-year financial plan will be presented for adoption at the upcoming April 8th Council Meeting.
    2. Introduction of Tax Rate Bylaw: Following the receipt of rates from all third-party agencies, the tax rate bylaw will be introduced at the April 22, 2024 Council meeting. This bylaw will undergo three readings (introduction; initial discussion; final discussion) at the public meeting before final adoption by the May 15th deadline.

    Continued Engagement

    We want to emphasize that the budget process begins with you! Resident input lays the foundation for our budget development.

    The 2025 annual budget survey will be available from June 12th to August 25th, 2024. Your participation in this survey is critical as we strive to align our priorities with community needs. Please stay tuned for more information.

    Your engagement in the budget process is vital to ensuring that our community's resources are allocated effectively and in line with our shared priorities. Together, we can ensure that our community's resources are allocated effectively and in line with our shared priorities.

    Thank you once again for your participation and support.

    About the five-year financial plan:

    In the five-year financial plan, the budget for the immediate year is refined while the outyears provide a potential financial forecast. From your feedback, priorities are adapted and the year ahead is detailed to ultimately form the tax rate applied to municipal services.

    Sooke is working to have more stable longer-term forecasting; however, presently, the budget remains quite nimble.

  • 2024 Budget to Be Presented at March 25th Council Meeting

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    After receiving service area presentations on March 13th Council has directed staff to bring forward a revised five-year financial plan that includes a 10.58% lift to general municipal taxes to the March 25th Council meeting. For residential taxes, this is equivalent to $147.12 or $12.26 per month for the average assessed property in Sooke.

    The investments being made within the proposed budget include:

    Community Safety:

    • Transitioning to 24/7 policing;
    • Continued support of 24/7 fire rescue services; and
    • Additional Bylaw Officer.

    Transportation Infrastructure:

    • Church/Throup Roundabout (2023-2024 Project);
    • Charters Road North (2024-2025 Project);
    • Little River Pedestrian Crossing (2024-2025 Project);
    • Transit Stop, Streetlight, Crosswalk Improvements; and
    • $400,000 investment in bridge maintenance (Connie Road Bridge, Todd Creek Bridge, Phillips Road Bridge).

    Community Planning:

    • Charters South Road Design (Construction anticipated for 2025);
    • Charters Intersection Design (Construction anticipation for 2025);
    • Ella Road Design (Construction anticipated for 2025);
    • Throup Connector Design (Construction anticipation for 2026-2027, pending funding);
    • Phillips Road Design (Construction anticipation for 2027, pending funding);
    • Wadams Transit Exchange Design (Construction alongside development of “Lot A”)
    • $150,000 investment in the annual patch and pave program
    • Asset Management Program (2% Contribution identified for 2024)
    • Stakeholder Engagement on a New Subdivision Standards Bylaw
    • Stakeholder Engagement on DCC Updates
    • OCP Re-engagement and implementation/application of new Provincial Housing Legislation

    Parks, Greenspaces and Environment:

    • Ravens Ridge Park Enhancements (2023-2024 Project);
    • $150,000 investment in annual rain/stormwater management
    • $100,000 investment in annual playground program
    • $75,000 investment in pier and boardwalk maintenance and repairs
    • $75,000 investment in park asset maintenance and repairs
    • Renewal of the Community Climate Action Seed Funding Program

    Municipal services account for less than half of what is collected on the annual property tax bill.

    In 2023, the municipal portion represented 44% of taxes collected.

    The District collects taxes on behalf of other agencies so that you have one bill to deal with as opposed to multiple. Other taxing agencies included on your property tax bill are the Capital Regional District, Provincial School Tax, Capital Regional Hospital, BC Transit, Regional Library, BC Assessment and Municipal Finance Authority.

    Residents are encouraged to attend or tune in to the upcoming meeting. Comments on the draft budget can be received by email to budget@sooke.ca.

    A Community budget Open House is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, April 3, 2024 from 2:30 pm to 7:30 pm at Sooke municipal hall, 2205 Otter Point Road.

    What happens after the budget is adopted?

    Following adoption, the District will receive third-party tax information in the spring.

    Once third-party tax information is received, the Tax Rate Bylaw will be presented to Council in April. Subsequently, property tax notices will be mailed out in late May or early June, with payments due by July 2, 2024.

    As property taxes are being collected, preparations for the 2025 budget will commence, with the Annual Budget Survey available from mid-June to mid-August. Residents will also have opportunities to connect with Council members and staff throughout the summer at various engagements, including local markets and community events.

    Attend the March 25th meeting in person, starting at 7:00 pm, at municipal hall, 2205 Otter Point Road, or watch the live-stream from home. As always, a recording of the public meeting will be available for residents to view at their convenience. Find related links at sooke.ca/meetings.

  • Service Level and Capital Budget Discussions Scheduled for March 13th Meeting

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    District of Sooke staff presented the Budget 2024 proposal during a Committee of the Whole meeting on Wednesday, February 28th. The proposed budget outlines plans for municipal services and includes adjustments aimed at maintaining fiscal responsibility while responding to the needs of the community as identified through phase one of the Budget 2024 engagement.

    The proposed tax increase for municipal services, based on the average assessed residential household, is currently set at $15.43 per month or $185.16 per year. This increase was carefully calculated to balance the provision of essential services while navigating numerous cost pressures impacting the financial well-being of Sooke residents. Current priorities include 24/7 fire rescue and policing services, investments in road infrastructure and continued implementation of the Transportation Master Plan, as well as park improvements and the establishment of an asset management program.

    Recognizing the importance of managing tax burdens, the Sooke Council has provided direction to municipal staff to explore adjustments aimed at avoiding a double-digit tax increase. In response to this directive, staff will present options for such adjustments at the Service Level Review and Capital Budget Discussion Meeting on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at 7:00 PM.

    Deputy Mayor Jeff Bateman expressed confidence in the collaborative efforts between council members and municipal staff as demonstrated in past budget cycles. "We are committed to ensuring that the budget reflects Sooke’s needs and priorities while also respecting multiple cost increases faced by residents,” he said. “Council is looking forward to carefully considering adjustments to the proposed budget as we seek the right balance between essential services and household financial realities."

    Residents are encouraged to tune in to the upcoming discussions to provide input and insights that will help shape the final Budget 2024. Comments on the draft budget can be received at any time by email to budget@sooke.ca.

    What happens after the budget is adopted?

    Following adoption, the District will receive third-party tax information in the spring, including tax rates for the Provincial School Tax, Capital Regional District, Hospitals, and Library Services. Notably, all fees are consolidated onto a single bill, streamlining the payment process for residents. In 2023, the municipal tax portion accounted for 44.1% of the residential tax bill in Sooke, with the majority collected on behalf of other agencies over which the District does not have direct control.

    Once third-party tax information is received, the Tax Rate Bylaw will be presented to Council in May. Subsequently, property tax notices will be mailed out in late May or early June, with payments due by July 2, 2024.

    As property taxes are collected, preparations for the 2025 budget will commence, with the Annual Budget Survey available from mid-June to mid-August. Residents will also have opportunities to connect with Council members and staff throughout the summer at various engagements, including local markets and community events.

  • Staff to Introduce Draft 2024 Budget on February 28th Before Council Conducts Service Level Review

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    The District of Sooke is pleased to announce that the draft 2024 budget will be introduced to Council on Wednesday, February 28, 2024. At this meeting, Council will receive the draft budget before proceeding with service-level deliberations at a subsequent meeting, in response to the proposed tax increase. Both meetings, as with all public Council sessions, will be live-streamed and recorded. The public is also welcome to attend and listen to the conversation.

    The proposed budget takes what we heard from residents through the Annual Budget Survey and outlines investment opportunities to best respond to the community’s needs that are in line with approved planning documents, such as the Official Community Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Fire Rescue Services Master Plan, and the Parks and Trails Master Plan.

    Public comment on the budget can be emailed to budget@sooke.ca and a Community Open House will be held after initial Council deliberations and before the budget is adopted. It is currently anticipated that the open house will be scheduled for late March/early April. Best efforts will be made to schedule the event over an extended period when both persons working in Sooke and those who commute can attend.

    “The District’s open budget process begins with our residents,” says Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Finance, Raechel Gray. “We appreciate seeing the increased involvement from the community year after year, and cannot emphasize enough how resident voices lay the foundation for our budget. I look forward to engaging with the community once again at the open house, after Council’s deliberations.”

    The upcoming meetings (introduction and service level review) will mark the third and fourth public meetings of the 2024 budget cycle: the first taking place in November when Council received the results of the annual budget survey and the second in December, with a presentation on an Asset Management Program.

    Following the staff report on the draft budget, Council will provide direction on modifying the proposed service levels. Subsequently, staff will return to Council to present the budget for formal readings. Once the budget is preliminarily endorsed, the Budget Open House will occur before it is adopted.

    What happens after the budget is adopted?

    Following adoption, the District will receive third-party tax information in the spring, including tax rates for the Provincial School Tax, Capital Regional District, Hospitals, and Library Services. Notably, all fees are consolidated onto a single bill, streamlining the payment process for residents. In 2023, the municipal tax portion accounted for 44.1% of the residential tax bill in Sooke, with the majority collected on behalf of other agencies over which the District does not have direct control.

    Once third-party tax information is received, the Tax Rate Bylaw will be presented to Council in May. Subsequently, property tax notices will be mailed out in late May or early June, with payments due by July 2, 2024.

    As property taxes are collected, preparations for the 2025 budget will commence, with the Annual Budget Survey available from mid-June to mid-August. Residents will also have opportunities to connect with Council members and staff throughout the summer at various engagements, including local markets and community events.

    The proposed tax increase for municipal services in Sooke being presented on Wednesday for Council discussion and subsequent deliberations, based on the average assessed residential household, currently sits at $15.43/month or $185.16 per year.

  • Asset Management Program, Policy & Financial Strategy Presentation at December 11 Council Meeting

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    At the December 11, 2023 Regular Council Meeting staff and consultants will introduce the Asset Management Program, Policy and Financial Strategy for consideration of inclusion in a revised five-year financial plan, as Budget 2024 is determined.

    The District successfully received a grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) in early 2022 to refine aspects of the District's Asset Management Program and develop an asset management plan, policy, and financial strategy. Urban Systems has been retained as the consultant for the District to work with staff to complete this asset management program project accordingly.

    The District's Asset Management program project work has been completed through 2022 and 2023, including but not limited to:

    1. Incorporation of Climate Action Vulnerability Assessment on District Assets with appropriate funding recommendation.
    2. Review and incorporation of District natural assets within the District's Asset Finda Database Platform.
    3. Refining the District's asset inventory including updating design life expectancies and reviewing conditional assessments of assets.
    4. Determining replacement costs and schedules, as well as developing annual funding targets aligned with Average Annual Lifecycle Investments.
    5. Reviewing District revenues and funding gaps as well as developing financial strategies for consideration.
    6. Developing asset management policy framework including a draft Asset Management Policy for consideration.

    More details are captured in the staff report for Council, and will be presented at tonight's meeting - streamed on our YouTube channel.

  • What We Heard - Budget 2024 Report Now Available

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    The District of Sooke invited residents to provide input into the District’s 2024 Budget from June 21 to August 20, 2023. Throughout the engagement period, participants provided feedbackClick image to view reportby survey and at community pop-ups --- engaging more than 1,000 persons through all mediums.

    The What We Heard Report summarizes our approach to engagement, including who we heard from, how we listened, and what we learned.

    What we heard from participants will be used to help inform the 2024 budget and highlight for Council what is important to residents as work is undertaken to update the financial plan and finalize next year's budget.

    Through this engagement, we sought to understand more about:

    • Residents’ quality of life and opportunities for the District to enhance the quality of life for our residents;
    • The importance of various local government services and the value residents feel they are receiving for current services;
    • What changes residents would like the District to make regarding services; and
    • How much residents would like to see invested in long-term infrastructure maintenance and replacement.

    Through this engagement, we also looked to educate residents on the current availability of District services and the limitations of the District’s budget.

    A variety of engagement tactics allowed as many voices as possible to be heard, given available resources. These experiences included detailed information on the Let’s Talk Sooke Budget information page (letstalk.sooke.ca/budget), ten community pop-ups at local parks and markets with an interactive dot-voting station taking place on evenings and weekends, and a survey in three forms: digital short form (open 24/7 for 2-months), digital long form (open 24/7 for 2-months), and a random household sample print survey (delivered to 200 households).

    While analysis and interpretation have been conducted in-house with best efforts to exclude any potential bias, raw data is included in this report in our commitment to complete transparency.

    In short, through the range of feedback received, the key priority areas that emerged are:

    • Ability to safely walk or bike around Sooke;
    • Traffic planning and management, including road maintenance;
    • Emergency response services (police and fire);
    • Parks and greenspaces (including care for the environment);
    • Health and wellness services; and
    • Community planning.

    Further to the above priorities, other data highlights include:

    • 61% of survey respondents rated their quality of life in Sooke 4 or 5 stars; 30% rated their quality of life in Sooke as average or 3 stars and 9% indicated a less desirable quality of life with 8% giving 2 stars and 1% giving 1 star.
    • 72% of respondents to the long-form survey reported being satisfied with the overall value they are receiving for District services with 45% rating the value paid for District services 3 out of 5 stars; 20% rating 4 out of 5 stars and 7% rating 5 out of 5 stars.
    • In looking at specific service areas, the majority of residents expressed satisfaction with ALL District service areas. Long-form survey respondents indicated:
      • the highest level of satisfaction with Fire Rescue Services --- 90% of respondents shared they are satisfied or feel they are receiving good or excellent value from this service area.
      • the lowest level of satisfaction with local roads --- 59% of survey respondents shared they are satisfied or feel they are receiving good or excellent value from this service area.

    Lastly, additional key learnings to inform the process as a whole include:

    • To increase services, an increase in property taxes is required. In doing so, staff are committed to ensuring utmost fiscal responsibility with an investment in priorities expressed by the community.
      • At the request of residents during last year’s budget engagement, an option to indicate where residents may wish to pay more to see services increase was asked in this year’s budget conversation.
    • The longer engagement period and simplified survey work well for Sooke residents.
      • Engagement rates increased by an estimated 50% this year with numerous comments received applauding the process. Survey participation increased by 34% and in-person engagement increased by an estimated 75%.
    • Capture non-resident and youth perspectives through future budget engagement processes.
      • Staff are always looking to evolve the process to receive the most relevant data and inspire ongoing commitment to local government engagement. Keen interest was expressed to include these two audiences in future budget participation opportunities.

    What's next?

    1. Preliminary budget development
    2. Service level review and Council direction
    3. First Reading (introduction) of District's 2024 Budget at a Regular Council Meeting
    4. Second Reading (initial discussion) of District's 2024 Budget at Regular Council Meeting
    5. Third Reading (final discussion) of District's 2024 Budget at Regular Council Meeting
    6. Budget Information Video Production
    7. Community Budget Open House to inform on 2024 priorities
    8. Budget Adoption
  • Thank you for participating in phase one of the District's Open Budget Process!

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    Approximately 1,000 people engaged in this year's Annual Budget Survey and Community Pop-Up experience to inform the District's 2024 budget! Thank you for the great conversations over the last 2-months! Your input lays the foundation for our budget development.

    A What We Heard Report will be available before budget deliberations begin.

  • Last pop-up of this phase of Budget 2024 engagement is August 17th!

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    Join Community Economic Development Officer, Gail Scott, and Communications Coordinator, Christina Moog, for the last pop-up of this phase of Budget 2024 engagement!

    Stop by the District of Sooke booth at the Sooke Region Museum Night Market on Thursday, August 17th from 5 to 8 p.m. to say "hello", provide input on Budget 2024 and take away a gift of your choice. Choose from: reusable tote bags, produce bags, water bottles and frisbees!

    Have a question or concern? Would you like to recognize one of our team members for going above and beyond? We're here to connect, listen and receive your input.

  • Say "hi" to Carolyn and Christina at Broomhill Playground on August 16th!

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    We're keeping the conversation going to hear from as many residents as possible! Your input is foundational to our budget development. Have your say and let's talk about Budget 2024!

    Stop by Broomhill Playground from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to say "hello," provide input on Budget 2024 and take away a gift of your choice. Choose from: reusable tote bags, produce bags, water bottles and frisbees!

    Have a question or concern? Would you like to recognize one of our team members for going above and beyond? We're here to connect, listen and receive your input.

    Our team will be popping up at various markets and parks throughout the summer. Can't make it? Participate online before the survey closes on Sunday, August 20th!

  • Stop by the Hannah Day Playground in Sunriver on August 15th to talk about Budget 2024!

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    We're keeping the conversation going to hear from as many residents as possible! Your input is foundational to our budget development. Have your say and let's talk about Budget 2024!

    Stop by the District of Sooke booth from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to say "hello," provide input on Budget 2024 and take away a gift of your choice. There are reusable tote bags, produce bags, water bottles and frisbees!

    Have a question or concern? Would you like to recognize one of our team members for going above and beyond? We're here to connect, listen and receive your input.

    Our team will be popping up at various markets and parks throughout the summer. Can't make it? Participate online before the survey closes on Sunday, August 20th!

Page last updated: 27 May 2024, 09:51 AM