Recent years have seen significant increases in property taxes in Shawnigan Lake, Area B in the Cowichan Valley Regional District. Total property taxes in Area B rose from $1.9 million in 2003 to over $4.6 million in 2012.
The biggest single item in the ballooning CVRD budget is staff salaries and benefits, which have been rapidly increasing. Over the past ten years, dozens of CVRD management staff received increases averaging almost 6% a year, while inflation averaged 1.9% over the same period. The Chief Administrative Officer was paid $198,000 in 2012, not including expenses and generous pension contributions. At least 43 other CVRD staff were paid between $100,000 and $156,000 (see link below).
In 2013, this issue was covered several times in the local media. The CVRD board, after years of ignoring the issue, eventually responded in December 2013 by freezing the pay of top managers for one year, and forming a board committee to look into the matter. The board will now need to take strong action to reign in future salary costs, including linking increases to incomes of local taxpayers and to inflation.
Based on past experience, the CVRD board will need continued pressure from local citizens and the media to make real progress on escalating salary costs. Final decisions on the 2014 budget will be made by March 31.
- CVRD Director email addresses
- List of CVRD employee remuneration and expenses over $75,000
- "Top heavy CVRD wages out of control" March 11, 2013
- "Which directors are actually paying attention?" July 17, 2013
- "Problem with CVRD salaries? Now is the time to speak up" November 13, 2013
- Would you move to the Cowichan Valley for $100,00 per year? May 28, 2014
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