Purpose of the New Emergency Services Buildings
The new buildings will provide for an integrated and coordinated response to emergencies on Saturna and will house the Saturna Volunteer Fire Department, Saturna Island Rescue, the Southern Gulf Islands Emergency Management Commission (emergency communications/coordination), and Parks Canada, personnel and/or equipment. The buildings are being engineered and constructed to post-disaster standards in order to ensure availability during times of emergency.
Costs to Taxpayers for the Buildings
According to the BC assessment roll for 2010, there are 668 individual properties on Saturna, of which 620 are taxed. The SIFPS construction budget requires $892,982 (which includes interim financing and mortgage interest payments) from property taxation. This amount includes $116,500 in contingency funds, which most likely will not be completely expended. Assuming, conservatively, that the entire budgeted amount is required, the net capital cost for the two new buildings comes to an average $1,440.29 per taxed Saturna property. It is reasonable to expect these buildings to be in use for 40 years, which brings the average annual cost per property to $36.01.
Payment Structure for the Buildings
The burden to Saturna taxpayers is front-loaded from 2008, when taxes were raised in anticipation of construction of the new buildings, and the date at which the mortgage will be retired. It is anticipated, through advance annual payments to the bank, that the payout date of the mortgage may be as early as September 2016. As a consequence, the average cost per property during a payment-loaded 8-year period would be $180.04 per year. Following the mortgage payout, as many as 34 years of the life of these buildings will be free of capital cost taxes.
Taxation at the current levels are expected to be sufficient to meet all building and mortgage payment costs. Therefore, property owners should not see any further taxation increases with respect to the current building projects.