Like any rapidly growing community, Colwood faces increasing infrastructure and operational demands. The needs and wants of a municipality are greater than what can be afforded at one time and choices must be made based on the priorities of community and Council. The goal is to deliver a high level of service that strikes a balance between supporting household prosperity for residents and city-building initiatives that support a high quality of life. 

Municipal services and capital projects

The City must keep pace with maintenance and repair of expanding infrastructure including new roads, parks, storm and sewer systems, as well as serving and protecting the safety of a growing number of citizens. Additionally, large capital projects like the waterfront walkway, pedestrian and cycling bridge, sidewalk, cycling, intersection, and crosswalk improvements, and planning for recreation facilities, public washrooms, and park improvements are budgeted for in the 2024-2028 Financial Plan. Municipal services and capital projects represent a 3.26% property tax increase in 2024.

Setting funds aside for infrastructure repair and replacement

The City also ensures funds are set aside for the maintenance, repair and anticipated replacement of an estimated $350M+ in assets and infrastructure: sewer and storm systems, roads, bridges and other critical assets. The Sustainable Infrastructure reserve enables the scheduled replacement of aging assets, guards against sharp tax increases when breakdown occurs, takes advantage of investment returns, and supports community resilience. Future infrastructure replacement represents a 1.64% increase in 2024.

Development pays for development

Municipalities are often asked why tax revenue from new homes does not appear to reduce overall tax rates. The reality is that development generates significant additional costs. New tax revenue primarily funds the increased service levels required to meet the needs of a growing population, including public safety as well as repair and maintenance of expanding infrastructure.

A comprehensive budget process

The City of Colwood is committed to sound financial management and is required by legislation to present a balanced budget each spring. Every year the City conducts a detailed, comprehensive review of all service areas to reaffirm Council expectations, reflect on challenges and opportunities, and set priorities for the coming year. In addition, budget considerations are informed by public input and guiding documents like Council’s Strategic Plan, the Official Community Plan, the Transportation Master Plan, and the Parks & Recreation Master Plan.

Learn more

More information about Colwood’s budget process and links to Service Review and Budget meeting information can be found at Residents can expect to receive tax notices near the end of May each year with a due date of the first business day after July 1st.