Victoria bylaw employees encampment work to incorporate police escort by means of April – Vancouver Island Free Day by day
Victoria taxpayers will see a modest increase in property taxes in 2021 due to a provincial reallocation of funds for the Victoria Police Department.
Under the new formula, the city will pay an additional $ 296,122 in 2021 and just over $ 300,000 in 2022 for the VicPD budget – the Esquimalt’s contribution will be cut by roughly the same amount.
On April 8, Victoria City Council approved the resulting 0.21 percent increase in property tax by 2021. This year’s tax increase totaling 2.03 percent is still slightly below the rate of inflation plus one (2.10 percent) targeted by the council.
Shortly thereafter, an additional one-time expense of $ 25,000 was approved to cover the cost of law enforcement officers escorting city officials into parks sheltered by unhodged people through April 30.
Proponents said this was an important way to show the city the security of its statutes.
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But couns. Jeremy Loveday, Ben Isitt and Sharmarke Dubow declined to spend the extra money, citing the general argument that given the department’s $ 60 million budget, the police chief should be able to deploy officers if necessary.
“I find it problematic that we receive these one-time requests all the time,” said Loveday. “The problems in our community are not new. Why are these costs not included in the original police budget?”
Mayor Lisa Helps, co-chair of Victoria and Esquimalt Police Headquarters, said not only did no one know when the camps would end, VicPD would also have to make its final budget submission in October. She expected this request to be the last for such a purpose.
The council was told that like the city in general, VicPD has a reserve fund for financial stability. However, any use of the Fund requires the approval of the Council of Victoria and Esquimalt. The latter would oppose such an action as the use of the funds would only affect Victoria, the staff said.
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