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Salt Spring Island Considers Incorporation

Frequently Asked Questions about Salt Spring Islands Transition Plan

We will keep this section updated with answers to the common questions, as well as the ones we receive via email transition@islandstrust.bc.ca, so please check back often.

What is the purpose of the Transition Plan?

How did you arrive at the $540,000 figure?

Will there be a $540,000 budget shortfall to Islands Trust immediately following incorporation?

How will the Islands Trust make up a $540,000 shortfall beyond the three years following incorporation?

If Salt Spring Island votes against incorporation, will the Islands Trust continue to operate the way it currently does?

How does the Transition Plan address the potential staffing cuts, considering more than 70 per cent of the Islands Trust budget is spent on staffing?

The Province announced a $20 million offer of restructure assistance to Salt Spring Island. Does this mean incorporation is going ahead?

Does the Islands Trust support incorporation of Salt Spring Island?

When is the vote?

How much will the incorporation process cost the Islands Trust?

Would the incorporation result in boundary changes for both Salt Spring Island and the Trust Area?

How much will Salt Spring Island taxpayers contribute to the Islands Trust after incorporation?

Will Salt Spring Island still benefit from the Preserve and Protect mandate?

 

Q: What is the purpose of the Transition Plan?

The Transition Plan outlines the organizational, financial and governance implications of Salt Spring Island incorporation to the Islands Trust.

The Transition Plan lists a series of actions Islands Trust will need to implement immediately following a “Yes” vote and six-to-twelve months following formal incorporation.

The Transition Plan is the first step in helping Trust Council make decisions about how the organization will make up the estimated annual budget shortfall of $540,000 following the three-year transition phase and deliver its provincial mandate.
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Q: How did you arrive at the $540,000 figure?

Below is a simplified explanation:

If Salt Spring Island incorporates, Islands Trust will lose revenue of up to $2.02 million.

At the same time, Islands Trust will save an estimated $1.49 million in direct expenses associated with providing local land use planning and administrative support leaving a net deficit of approximately $540,000.

For the detailed analysis, please refer to the updated Islands Trust Impact Analysis provided by consultants Urban Systems and included in the Transition Plan as Appendix 3 (Section 3 starting on Page 10 )
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Q: Will there be a $540,000 budget shortfall to Islands Trust immediately following incorporation?

No, if Salt Spring Island incorporates, there will be a three-year transition period where the budget and the services will continue at the current level.
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Q: How will the Islands Trust make up a $540,000 shortfall beyond the three years following incorporation?

Trust Council has not yet made any decisions about how it will make up the estimated budget shortfall at the end of the three-year transition period.

If Salt Spring Island incorporates then Trust Council will use the information in the Transition Plan to make decisions on how to balance taxes and service delivery while delivering its provincial mandate.
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Q: If Salt Spring Island votes against incorporation, will the Islands Trust continue to operate the way it currently does?

While there would be no immediate change to operations after a vote, the prospect of incorporation has given Islands Trust an opportunity to look at how it can deliver its provincial mandate in a more cost-efficient and effective manner, even if Salt Spring Island chooses against incorporation.

If Salt Spring Island votes “No” to incorporate, the Transition Plan recommends a governance and service delivery review to determine how Islands Trust can deliver its important provincial mandate in a more cost-effective way.
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Q: How does the Transition Plan address the potential staffing cuts, considering more than 70 per cent of the Islands Trust budget is spent on staffing?

The Transition Plan provides a conservative analysis (no tax increases) of how Islands Trust may adapt to the estimated $540,000 annual budget shortfall.

In this scenario, there would be a 20 per cent reduction in planning staff complement, and therefore capacity to support, land use planning on the islands.

A detailed Adaptation Strategy will include a staffing plan to help Trust Council make decisions that best meet its corporate responsibility and deliver its mandate with the resources it has.
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Q: The Province announced a $20 million offer of restructure assistance to Salt Spring Island. Does this mean incorporation is going ahead?

The provincial offer of restructure assistance is one of the factors voters need to know when considering their views on incorporation. Please visit the Incorporation Study Committee website for more information.
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Q: Does the Islands Trust support incorporation of Salt Spring Island?

Islands Trust did not request the study, is not involved in the incorporation process and does not take a position for or against incorporation.

Islands Trust respects the community’s decisions about governance and has prepared a Transition Plan to provide objective information about the impact of that community decision.
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Q: When is the vote?

The Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development ordered a municipal incorporation vote for Salt Spring Island electors on Sept. 9, 2017.
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Q: How much will the incorporation process cost the Islands Trust?

So far, the Province has paid the Islands Trust $5,000 to develop the Transition Plan to review options if Salt Spring Island votes in favour of incorporation.

The CAO and senior staff have also dedicated considerable time to develop the Transition Plan.

Islands Trust will request the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development for funding to implement the 64 action items identified in the Transition Plan.

The additional funds would support the creation of a detailed Adaptation Strategy for the long-term implications of incorporation on Islands Trust operations.
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Q: Would the incorporation result in boundary changes for both Salt Spring Island and the Trust Area?

If Salt Spring Island were to incorporate as an island municipality, it is likely that the municipal boundary would more closely reflect the current Salt Spring Island Electoral Area (i.e. Capital Regional District Electoral Area F) boundary.

In that case, the remaining associated islands (e.g. Piers Island, Prevost Island) within the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Area would likely be redistributed to other local trust areas.
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Q: How much will Salt Spring Island taxpayers contribute to the Islands Trust after incorporation?

Island municipalities contribute towards:

• Cost of operations of Trust Council and Executive Committee
• Cost of administrative operations of the Trust Fund Board

Taxes for island municipalities are calculated using a formula based on the assessed value of land and improvements in the Trust Area. The amount is determined by section 47 of the Islands Trust Act.

The amount Salt Spring Island taxpayers contribute after incorporation would vary with changes in the Islands Trust annual budget and with changes in the ratio of assessed values.
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Q: Will SSI still benefit from the Preserve and Protect mandate?

Yes. Salt Spring Island will still belong to the Islands Trust following incorporation.

A Salt Spring Island Municipality will continue to have a legal obligation to comply with the Islands Trust Policy statement when making land-use decisions and bylaw changes.
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Page last updated: 13/03/17
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