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Budget 2020/21 Details

Budget 2020/21 Details

In developing the proposed budget for 2020/21 ($8,180,478), the Islands Trust Council assumes that the Islands Trust will maintain existing service levels and implement the Islands Trust Council’s Strategic Plan 2018 - 2022.  

View breakdown of the budget numbers here.

Key themes of the proposed 2020/21 budget:

  • 3% increase in total expenditures
  • 1.5% projected tax increase overall for the Islands Trust Area (other than Bowen Island Municipality)
  • 2.7 % projected general tax increase in Bowen Island Municipal tax levy
  • $383,650 draw from surplus funds, to balance the budget (surplus funds are unspent monies accumulated from previous years)
  • climate actions funded through regular operations and Strategic Plan projects
  • Trust Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan funded through regular operations and program funding, in support of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliations Commissions Calls To Action
  • wage increases per union agreements and Public Service policies:
    • 2.0% wage increase for all union staff per the British Columbia Government Employees Union (BCGEU) Collective Agreement and a $62,000 increase to the staff overtime budget to reflect changes in the Collective Agreement
    • an estimated wage increase that could be up to 3.75% for excluded staff per the Public Service Agency Management Classification and Compensation Framework Rules 
    • 2.0% increase to trustee base remuneration Learn more 

Average annual % change in property taxes since 2012/13 (Bowen Island Municipality contributes through a levy which is calculated differently):

Fiscal Year Percent Change
2012/13 0%
2013/14 1.3%
2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 0%
2018/19, 2019/20 2%
2020/21 1.5%

Expenditures: Where Our Money Goes

Expenditures by Area

The Islands Trust preserves and protects the Trust Area through environmentally-stringent land use planning, land protection through the Islands Trust Conservancy, and working locally and across agencies to collaborate, plan and advocate on important matters in our jurisdiction.  These areas are:

  • Local Planning Services
  • Trust Council/Trust Area-Wide Programs
  • Islands Trust Conservancy

Local Planning Services
In the Islands Trust Area, the focus of all land use planning is the preservation of the environment, cultural heritage and community sustainability. Land use planning activities include:  

  • proactive land use planning (maintain and update 20 official community plans and 20 land use bylaws)
  • application processing (e.g. property rezoning, development permits, public hearings about proposed bylaws)
  • local trust committee meetings
  • community information meetings (e.g.  land use planning issues, freshwater protection issues and options, climate change)
  • bylaw compliance and enforcement 

Trust Council/Trust Area-Wide Programs
The Islands Trust Council supports the preserve and protect mandate through Trust Area programs and services. These include: 

  • advocacy (e.g. lobbying about topics such as aquaculture, marine shipping safety, climate action)
  • public education programs (e.g. Community Stewardship Award program, educational workshops on topics such as water, climate action, species at risk)
  • intergovernmental relations (reconciliation, agreements with other levels of government, hosting of multi-stakeholder coordination events)
  • communications (e.g website, social media, advertising, publications, news releases)
  • Trust Area-wide policy management, including the Policy Statement (e.g. updating, interpreting)
  • legislative services (e.g. Freedom of Information requests)
  • Islands Trust Council meetings and Council committee meetings

Islands Trust Conservancy

The ecosystems of the Islands Trust Area are among the most at risk in British Columbia. The Islands Trust Conservancy protects 1,304 hectares across the region as nature reserves and empowers property owners to protect private land through innovative programs, covenants and volunteer conservation initiatives. The Conservancy’s administration costs, including the costs of managing the 105 protected areas (29 nature reserves and 76 conservation covenants) are paid for through the Islands Trust budget. Land purchases and covenants are generously funded through donations.

Climate Action Initiatives

The Islands Trust’s day-to-day work of preserving and protecting the Islands Trust Area has a climate action focus that is being strengthened by the Strategic Plan.  The following strategic climate-action projects are proposed for 2020/21 for a combined cost of $225,650 (excluding overhead costs such as staff resources associated with the projects):

  • Mapping the extent of eelgrass throughout the Trust Area
  • Developing a regional freshwater strategy
  • Reviewing foreshore policies/bylaws and developing a model policy for individual local trust committees to adopt
  • Developing climate change, demographic, and environmental indicator data sets
  • Broadcasting public meetings (a trial will be conducted first)
  • Developing and implementing a climate-change focused stewardship education program
  • Continuing the Policy Statement Amendment Project (includes consideration of climate change related policies)
  • Coastal Douglas-fir protection by local trust committees

Trust Council is also responding to the climate emergency by contemplating making two positions permanent—the Freshwater Specialist position and the Conservancy Covenant Management and Outreach position—and funding local trust committee projects.

Other Initiatives
Additional new projects and initiatives that are included in the draft budget but are not directly related to climate action include:

  • The implementation of a secretariat function (e.g. organize and co-host regional meetings/forums)
  • The development of a model policy and regulations for affordable housing
  • The replacement of the organization’s storage area network (SAN) which has reached the end of its useful life 

Revenue: Where We Get Our Funding 

In the 2020/21 fiscal year, our proposed budget would be funded from:

  • Property taxes in local trust areas
  • Bowen municipal property tax levy
  • Provincial grant
  • Applications fees (development permits and rezoning applications)
  • Transfer from Islands Trust surplus funds
  • Salt Spring Island Local Trust Area special tax levy

Salt Spring Island Special Tax Levy

A special property tax levy is a mechanism by which the Islands Trust funds a special initiative taking place in a single local trust area through a tax levied on property owners only in that local trust area.

The tax can be used when a local trust committee wishes to take on a large initiative with local significance or to take on additional operations. 

Since 2014, the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee has funded, through a special local tax requisition, the Salt Spring Island Watershed Protection Alliance to support work related to the preservation and protection of water resources in the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Area. 

Past Budgets

Thank you for your interest in Budget 2020/21. If you are interested in seeing how past budgets compare to the proposed 2020/21 budget, click here. 


Julia Mobbs
Director, Administrative Services T. 250-405-5150

Page last updated: 24/01/20
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