News Briefs for the Week of February 16

N. Cowichan considering easing light industrial tax?

North Cowichan Council is considering a bylaw that will shift 20 per cent of property taxes currently paid by Light Industrial ratepayers “equally across the remaining eight property classes.”

The proposal was to be considered at a Committee of the Whole meeting Feb. 11 in council chambers. Councillors will consider the shift in the context of an overall 2.51 per cent ‘net tax increase’ for the municipality.

A report to council from Mark Frame, director of finance, says North Cowichan is in a position to reduce its net tax increase from an initial projection of 2.96 to 2.51 per cent.

It goes on to say: ”Council identified a review of the Class 5 Light Industry tax rate/ratio as a priority for 2016 in order to improve competitiveness.

“Based on this priority, tax distribution options have been provided that reduce taxes for Class 5 – Light Industry.”

Library board, and CUPE 401 settle on five year contract to Dec. 2019

The Vancouver Island Regional Library and its CUPE 401 employees have settled on a collective agreement which will cover the five year period ending Dec. 31, 2019, says a VIRL media release.

CUPE members voted in favour of a ‘memorandum of agreement’ Feb. 5.

The collective agreement was settled with the assistance of a mediator between the VIRL and CUPE 401 Jan. 14. The VIRL Board of Trustees 38 members ratified the agreement at its January Annual General Meeting.

VIRL’s CUPE 401 staff had been without a contract since Jan. 1, 2015.