Budget 2024 Update: Service Level and Capital Budget Discussions Scheduled for March 13th Meeting

Click the image to view the DRAFT 2024 Budget (2024-2028 Financial Plan)

Wednesday, March 6, 2024 – 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.

Learn more:

Community Contact:
District of Sooke Reception
Tel: 250.642.1634
Email: budget@sooke.ca


Media contact:
Christina Moog, Communications Coordinator
Tel: 250.642.1634
Email: cmoog@sooke.ca