Update on Budget 2022, including What We Heard from Citizen Engagement
Understand community priorities for 2022, including upcoming projects and changes to District service areas
The District is thanking residents for their active participation in the 2022 budget process and sharing more opportunities to participate as next year’s budget is prepared.
During the first phase of public engagement, (early learning) in June and July, more than 300 residents joined the conversation through in-person pop-ups and a survey at letstalk.sooke.ca/budget. This fall, the citizen budget survey took place and we heard from 134 residents.
“We are working to make the budget more accessible,” says Director of Financial Services, Raechel Gray. The District provided opportunities to connect with staff and Council and discuss the budget at local parks, businesses, and events including the Thursday Night Market, the Sooke Country Market and Celebrate Sooke! “While I hoped for more participation with our citizen budget survey, I feel confident in our efforts to reach residents and provide multiple opportunities to have their voices heard. Because of these efforts, we connected with a (geographic and demographic) variety of residents to inform the 2022 Budget.”
Residents can continue to participate in the Budget 2022 conversation through public council meetings and at an upcoming Open House, which is tentatively scheduled for December 1st.
What we’ve heard so far from residents:
- Budget to remain at the same or a similar level in administrative, legislative, bylaw, financial, fire and the information technology service areas
- Budget increases to occur in planning and development, parks and environmental, roads and underground, and policing service areas
- Allocate funds, which may result in a tax increase, to climate action
- See the results here
What’s next with Budget 2022:
- On November 1st, District Council will use citizen engagement results and staff recommendations to determine priorities for the 2022 Budget. This meeting is open to the public and will begin at 6 pm in Council Chambers. It will also be live-streamed through the District’s YouTube channel.
- After this discussion, a draft budget will be brought forward to a public meeting (the date will be confirmed after the November 1st Council meeting).
- A Digital Information Session describing the draft 2022 Budget will be published on November 26th and available through the District’s website and YouTube channel.
- An in-person Open House is tentatively scheduled for December 1st.
Why participate in the Budget Open Houses:
- Meet service area staff who are committed to working with the community and delivering in its mission as a compassionate, engaged and effective organization providing excellent public services to its citizens.
- Understand how your tax dollars are being maximized.
- Learn what projects are currently captured in the five-year financial plan.
- Help shape Budget 2022 by providing input on the identified priority areas.
Did you know:
- In 2020 and 2021, the District has received $13.6 million in grant funding.
- The Transportation Master Plan and Parks and Trails Master Plans were adopted in October 2020 after 16-month of community consultation and include specific action plans that also inform the District’s budget.
- The District collects taxes on behalf of third-party agencies such as Schools, the Capital Regional District and Hospitals. Most taxes collected, 56%, are collected on behalf of these agencies. The remaining portion, 44%, funds District services.
- The District publishes regional property tax information on the property tax page of its website so residents can see how their property tax charges compare to other municipalities in the region.
The District is committed to an Open Budget Process and invites residents to ask questions on Budget 2022 at letstalk.sooke.ca/budget or by calling 250.642.1634.
- Budget and Financial Services Information Page
- What We Heard – Budget Engagement 2022