Budget 2022

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The District relies on property tax dollars to provide services and maintain parks and infrastructure that contribute to your quality of life. As a member of the community, it’s important that you are informed about the District of Sooke budget, and that you have an opportunity to share your input.

Engage with us

Participate in our quick poll and 3-question Early Learning Survey to start to shape the information we provide and how we engage on the budget. This will be followed by a citizen-budget survey later in the year that will seek more detailed input on the District’s budgets.

We invite you to connect with staff at community pop-ups to learn more about the District’s service areas and what projects are currently underway. Ask questions and learn about when key decisions are made and how you can be involved early. This helps to ensure optimum use of resources and your tax dollars.

A service-level review and Citizen Budget Survey will inform how we adapt the five-year financial plan and next year’s budget priorities to set the stage for detailed community budget conversations. This tool will allow you to share your ideas for how the budget might be modified and the impacts of those adjustments.

Also in the fall, the District will also host a virtual and in-person open house to provide you with an opportunity to learn more about how the District’s budgets are developed, the unique challenges encountered when developing municipal budgets, and our roadmap to an open budget process.

The District relies on property tax dollars to provide services and maintain parks and infrastructure that contribute to your quality of life. As a member of the community, it’s important that you are informed about the District of Sooke budget, and that you have an opportunity to share your input.

Engage with us

Participate in our quick poll and 3-question Early Learning Survey to start to shape the information we provide and how we engage on the budget. This will be followed by a citizen-budget survey later in the year that will seek more detailed input on the District’s budgets.

We invite you to connect with staff at community pop-ups to learn more about the District’s service areas and what projects are currently underway. Ask questions and learn about when key decisions are made and how you can be involved early. This helps to ensure optimum use of resources and your tax dollars.

A service-level review and Citizen Budget Survey will inform how we adapt the five-year financial plan and next year’s budget priorities to set the stage for detailed community budget conversations. This tool will allow you to share your ideas for how the budget might be modified and the impacts of those adjustments.

Also in the fall, the District will also host a virtual and in-person open house to provide you with an opportunity to learn more about how the District’s budgets are developed, the unique challenges encountered when developing municipal budgets, and our roadmap to an open budget process.

  • Council Adopts 2022-2026 Five-Year Financial Plan

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    After receiving input from the community through the Citizen Budget Survey and the December 1st Budget Open House, the District adopted its 2022-2026 five-year financial plan at the December 13th Regular Council Meeting. Based on the average residential property assessment, the plan identifies a residential property tax increase of approximately $100 per year or $8.33 per month to fund District services next year.

    Listening to the community, we heard about the need to improve local road infrastructure and continue with the implementation of the Transportation Master Plan, proceed with implementation of the Parks and Trails Master Plan and implement adaptation and mitigation strategies to respond to the climate emergency.

    View the 2022 Budget Brief for:

    • 2022 Highlights in the Five-Year Financial Plan
    • How District of Sooke Taxes and Charges Compare to Other Municipalities in the Capital Region and Other Comparable Sized Municipalities in BC (Based on 2021 data)
    • Understand service area budget changes within the 2022 Budget
    • Distribution of District Tax Dollars between Service Areas
    • What other funding sources, in addition to property taxes, are available to the District
    • What other key milestones take place after the budget is approved

    Related documents:

    Each year the District completes a service-level review and citizen budget survey to inform the District's budget. For 2023, this is tentatively scheduled for June 15th to July 15th. Staff will be available at local markets and provide residents with numerous opportunities to provide input in person, online, by phone or through print surveys.

  • Budget Open House on December 1, 3 to 7pm. Video available for those unable to attend in person.

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    After receiving input from the community, the District has prepared its 2022-2026 five-year financial plan. The plan identifies an increase of approximately $100 per year based on the average residential property assessment, or $8.33 per month for 2022.

    Listening to the community, we heard about the need to improve local road infrastructure and continue with the implementation of the Transportation Master Plan, proceed with implementation of the Parks and Trails Master Plan and implement adaptation and mitigation strategies to respond to the climate emergency.

    Join us at the Budget Open House on Wednesday, December 1st from 3pm to 7pm at the municipal hall to:

    • 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.
    • Learn about District operations and processes.
    • 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.

    Questions on the budget can be submitted through letstalk.sooke.ca/budget, connect with staff by phone at 250.642.1634 or submit comments by email to budget@sooke.ca.

  • Council Gives Third Reading to Five-Year Financial Plan: Budget Open House Scheduled for December 1, 3 to 7pm

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    Thursday, November 25, 2021 – After receiving input from the community, the District has prepared its 2022-2026 five-year financial plan. The plan identifies an increase of approximately $100 per year based on the average residential property assessment, or $8.33 per month.

    Listening to the community, we heard about the need to improve local road infrastructure and continue with the implementation of the Transportation Master Plan, proceed with implementation of the Parks and Trails Master Plan and implement adaptation and mitigation strategies to respond to the climate emergency.

    Quotes:

    Director of Finance, Raechel Gray –

    “We are building a sustainable, long-term financial plan for the District by maximizing cost-savings opportunities as the Ministry of Highway project mobilizes in Sooke. Investing now in critical projects that, if delayed, will cost more than double in the years to come is a difficult recommendation, especially given the pandemic and provincial state of emergency. With this plan, we are also investing in an Employment Lands Strategy which is foundational work to diversity our tax base, so that we are not as dependent on residential taxes in the future as we are today.”

    Mayor of Sooke, Maja Tait -

    “This is an incredibly difficult budget. Unfortunately, leaving our infrastructure and applying patchwork solutions to try and manage at later is not the right answer, especially given the cost-savings opportunities we have before us. We are listening to the feedback received from citizens who shared that road maintenance, the Transportation and Parks and Trails Master Plans, and the climate emergency are priorities. Investing through an increase of approximately $8.33 per month can deliver on several of the community's urgent asks. On December 1st at the Open House, I look forward to hearing more from the community.”

    Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Norm McInnis –

    “The two things we heard most often through our Official Community Plan and also stood out during our 2022 Budget engagement were traffic and climate action. This budget reflects a measured response to both of these matters that will take more than one budget cycle to improve. We are grateful for the level of feedback we are receiving from the public and are committed to responding appropriately.

    Our team has worked hard to secure grants, over $12 million in funding over the last two years, to lessen the impact on the residential tax base to see projects identified in the master plans through to fruition. We will continue to seek grants, but we need to keep in mind that grants are never a guarantee. It’s important that have a plan in place to fund these projects whether or not we are successful with our (grant) applications.”

    The community is invited to continue the budget conversation at Budget Open House at the municipal hall on Wednesday, December 1st from 3 to 7pm. For those unable to make the in-person open house, an information video will be able on Friday, November 26th. Residents can ask questions online at letstalk.sooke.ca/budget or call 250.642.1634.

    2022 Highlights in the five-year financial plan:

    • 2022 Non-Property Tax Revenue Increases:
      1. Development Cost Charges, $200K
      2. Building permits, $150K
      3. Investment Income, $34K
    • Infrastructure Projects:
      1. Church Road Roundabout, $276K funded by property taxes (Transportation Master Plan implementation)
      2. Road paving program, including Connie and Manzer Road, up to $700K (reserve funds) (Transportation Master Plan implementation)
      3. Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion ($4.6 million in grant funding)
      4. Multiple Road Design Projects (e.g. Throup, Charters, Phillips, West Coast Road)
      5. Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, $50K plus BC Hydro partnership
    • Parks & Trails Master Plan Implementation:
      1. Whiffin Spit Master Plan, $75K
      2. Completion of multi-use sports box, $375K
      3. Park and greenspace expansion through developer contributions, additional Parks Auxillary Workers
    • Staffing – 3 new positions funded from non-market change (not property taxes), $270K:
      1. Manager of Engineering
      2. Firefighter
      3. Increase budget for Parks auxiliary workers
    • Outside agencies:
      1. Visitor Centre, $5.4K (COVID restart funding)
      2. SD62 Healthy Schools, $5K
      3. Sooke Family Resource, $30K (note: funded with COVID for 2022 & 2023 – and may be a property tax increase in 2024 if supported by Council to extend the contract at that time)

    Departmental/Service Area Property Tax Changes:

    • Council:
      1. Reduction in travel, $5K savings
      2. Reduction in contingency, $20K savings
      3. Reduction in Sooke Canada Day funding, $10K savings
      4. Increase in funding for community support and Service Agreements, $10K
    • Administrative Services (CAO):
      1. Climate Action, $109K
      2. Reduction of legal, $18K
    • Corporate Services:
      1. Election, $27.5K
      2. VoterView Software, $11K (COVID restart funding)
    • Finance/IT
      1. Insurance, $35K
    • Planning
      1. Reduction with completion of OCP review and contractor fees, $145K
    • Operations
      1. Roads maintenance increase, $35K
      2. Asset Management Grant Contribution, $15K
      3. Reduction of contractor fees, $35K
    • Fire
      1. Paid-on Call, $72K
      2. CREST, $16K
      3. Reduction in relief worker remuneration, $16K

    What’s next with Budget 2022:

    • Digital Information Session highlighting projects in the 2022 Budget will be available through the District’s website and YouTube channel on November 26, 2021.
    • In-person Open House is scheduled for December 1, 2021, 3 to 7 pm in the council chamber at the municipal hall.
    • Adoption of the five-year financial plan is tentatively scheduled for December 13, 2021.

    What other key milestones take place after the budget is approved?

    • BC Assessment Notices will be available in early 2022
    • The District receives third-party (e.g. Schools, Capital Regional District, Hospitals) tax information Spring 2022
    • Tax Rate Bylaw will be brought forward in May 2022
    • Property tax notices will be mailed June 2022
    • Property tax payment period closes on July 4, 2022
    • Budget 2023 preparations begin June-July 2022

    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.
    • Learn about District operations and processes.
    • 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:

    • 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 budget conversation underway right now is specific to 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.

    Learn more:

  • Next Budget Discussion Rescheduled: Tuesday, November 23 at 6:00 p.m.

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    November 16, 2021 - After inclement weather and a district-wide power outage resulted in the cancellation of the November 15 budget meeting, the budget meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday, November 23rd at 6:00 p.m.

    Those attending in person (Council Chamber at Municipal Hall) must wear masks. The meeting will also be live-streamed on our YouTube Channel(External link).

  • Next Budget Discussion: November 15, 2021 Special Council (Public) Meeting

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    Friday, November 5, 2021 – At the November 1st, 2021 council meeting, council received a fulsome list of community asks for the 2022 budget. The requests were received through our community budget consultation and identified in the Transportation and Parks and Trails Master Plans, adopted in October 2020. WATCH/LISTEN TO THE RECORDING HERE >>

    The initial list would require approximately $1.6 million in additional funding, which the District is not able to support.

    “Our current tax base is predominantly residential, so $92,000 in spending is a 1% tax increase,” shares Raechel Gray, Director of Financial Services. “I am beyond thrilled our team has received $13.6 million in grant funding over the last two years to make several critical infrastructure projects happen and minimize the direct impact on property taxes. Grants are never a guarantee, so we must have a plan in place to fund these projects whether or not we are successful with our (grant) applications.”

    More funding is needed to meet our community’s needs and diversifying revenue sources is a critical means for the District to operate. In the 2022 budget, the District is looking to develop an Employment Lands Strategy and by adjusting staffing resources, merging Building, Planning and Community Economic Development portfolios, we are identifying a clear path forward to bring more well-paying jobs to Sooke. “We know well-paying local jobs will yield significant community benefits for roads and traffic, greenhouse gas emission reductions, and affordability,” shares Matthew Pawlow, Director of Planning and Development. “It is a priority and we need to work with developers and businesses to make this happen to support our community vision,” Pawlow adds.

    The District is also in a unique position with the Highway 14 Construction Project. “We have an opportunity to acquire materials from Highway 14 that would see over $1 million in cost-savings towards projects identified in the Transportation Master Plan,” says Jeff Carter, Director of Operations shares.

    This is a particularly challenging budget year. The District is mindful of the financial challenges of the pandemic and knowing there are these cost-saving opportunities means there are incredibly difficult decisions to make.

    Budget discussions will continue at the November 15, 2021 Special Council Meeting. The meeting will start at 6 pm and is open to the public. Those attending in person must wear masks. The meeting will also be live-streamed on our YouTube Channel.

    What’s next with Budget 2022:

    • Special Council Meeting, November 15, 2021 at 6 pm.
    • Digital Information Session highlighting projects in the 2022 Budget will be available through the District’s website and YouTube channel, tentatively scheduled for November 26, 2021.
    • In-person Open House, tentatively scheduled for December 1, 2021 in the council chamber at the municipal hall.

    What other key milestones take place after the budget is approved?

    • BC Assessment Notices will be available in early 2022
    • The District receives third-party (e.g. Schools, Capital Regional District, Hospitals) tax information Spring 2022
    • Tax Rate Bylaw will be brought forward in May 2022
    • Property tax notices will be mailed June 2022
    • Property tax payment period closes on July 4, 2022
    • Budget 2023 preparations begin June-July 2022

    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.
    • Learn about District operations and processes.
    • 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:

    • 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 budget conversation underway right now is specific to 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 through this page or by calling 250.642.1634.

    Learn more:


  • Update on Budget 2022, including What We Heard from Citizen Engagement

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    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.

    Learn more:

    Subscribe to receive meeting notifications on the District website: sooke.ca > online service > subscribe.

  • Participate in the Citizen Budget Survey & Service Level Review

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    The CITIZEN BUDGET SURVEY is now live!

    Using the Citizen Budget survey, residents can enter their property assessment and see how their tax dollars are distributed between district service areas. Through the survey, residents can also:

    • share where they feel resources should be increased or decreased across the District’s budget;
    • rate the importance of services;
    • advise on satisfaction levels and;
    • provide additional comments.


    Please allow 15 minutes to participate.

    Recognizing some residents may prefer to provide feedback through a print form, print surveys will be distributed via the Sooke News Mirror on Thursday, September 2nd with additional copies available at the Sooke Municipal Hall and upcoming local events.

    For those who would prefer to participate by phone, please call 250.642.1634 and District staff would be happy to assist you.

    This survey will remain open until Sunday, September 26th.


    Connect in Person:

    In addition to the online and print survey, District Council members and staff will be conducting community pop-ups to answer resident’s questions about the District’s budget. Stop by and say "hello":

    • Thursday, September 2, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Thursday Night Market, Sooke Region Museum
    • Tuesday, September 7, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at A & W, 6660 Sooke Road
    • Wednesday, September 8, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., SEAPARC Leisure Complex, 6168 Phillips Road
    • Thursday, September 9, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., The Stick, 6715 Eustace Road
    • Friday, September 10, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Whiffin Spit
    • Saturday, September 18, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Celebrate Sooke! at John Phillips Memorial Park
    • Tuesday, September 21, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., The Stick, 6715 Eustace Road
    • Wednesday, September 22, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., LIttle Vienna, 6726 W. Coast Road
    • NEW LOCATION! Thursday, September 23, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Broomhill Playground, 2280 Pyrite Drive
    • NEW LOCATION! Friday, September 24, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., John Phillips Memorial Park, 2201 Otter Point Rd
    • Saturday, September 25, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Sooke Country Market at John Phillips Memorial Park

    Schedule updated September 22, 2021 with new pop-up locations for September 23 & 24.

  • Meet & Greet With Staff

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    The District of Sooke is beginning budget-related discussions with the community during the summer to assist with budget adoption by year-end. This helps to ensure the District optimizes the use of its resources and allocates staffing and budget to priority areas.

    As a relatively small, but growing, and young municipality combined with a tax base that is limited in diversity (92% of the DIstrict's operating budget is funded through residential taxes), priorities must be carefully considered and identified within planning. Through open dialogue, the District is excited to work with citizens and support each other's learning as we enhance communication with the community and deliver on our strategic priorities.

    Phase One: Early Learning

    This phase connects staff and residents on a preliminary budget conversation. How to participate:

    • Complete our “quick poll” question;
    • Complete our 3-question survey;
    • Meet staff at pop-ups throughout the community.

    From June 23-July 6: meet Jennifer, Corporate Services Assistant, and Christina, Communication Coordinator, in the community to learn more about the 2022 Budget:

    Date Time Location
    Wednesday, June 23
    2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Broomhill Playground
    Thursday, June 24
    5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    Thursday Night Market at the Sooke Region Museum
    Friday, June 25
    11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Western Foods
    Tuesday, July 6
    9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
    Whiffin Spit
    Tuesday, July 6
    11:30 a.m. 1:30 p.m. Sooke Marine Boardwalk


    From July 8-July 16: learn more about District service areas and say "hello" to service area staff at locations throughout the community:

    Date Time Service Area Location
    Thursday, July 8 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Administrative & Corporative Services Western Foods
    Saturday, July 10 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Financial Services Saturday Market at John Phillips Memorial Park
    Monday, July 12 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Parks & Environmental Services Whiffin Spit
    Tuesday, July 13 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Planning & Development Services John Phillips Memorial Park
    Wednesday, July 14 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Fire & Emergency Program Services District of Sooke Fire Station
    Thursday, July 15 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Operations: Roads & Infrastructure (Public Works) Thursday Night Market at the Sooke Region Museum
    Friday, July 16 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Sooke R.C.M.P. Detachment Sooke R.C.M.P. Detachment, 2076 Church Road



Page last updated: 11 Jan 2022, 08:54 AM