City council preview: Taxes, wineries and theatres

Penticton City Council gets right back to work on April 18

Taxes for Penticton homeowners are expected to rise by about $21 on an average home in 2017.

Council is giving three readings to this year’s tax rates bylaw at their April 18 meeting, locking in the 4.36 per cent property tax rate worked out earlier this year. But the influence of assessed value of residential properties climbing faster than business classes, that translates to a real world increase of about 5.46 per cent for residential properties, a projected $1,595 for an average $368,202 home, $82 higher than in 2016. However, the overall levy, including regional district and hospitals taxes, is projected at $1,800 for that average home, making for a total increase of $21 (1.18 per cent.)

The 2017 tax roll from B.C. Assessment shows Penticton with almost $6.25 billion in taxable properties, up $439.6 million (7.6 per cent) from 2016. Most of the increase comes from residential ($393.2 million) and business properties ($42.1 million).

Peach City Beach Cruise is asking council to give registered participants free parking in city-controlled lots during this year’s car show, which runs from June 23 to 25.

According to a letter sent to council by beach cruise president Wayne Wood, the request is “intended to ensure registrants of the Peach City Beach Cruise visiting our city leave with a positive impression.”

Council will also be discussing disposition of theatre seats and equipment acquired after the PenMar Community Arts Centre Society’s project failed in 2016, and the city took possession of assets as security on the $62,606 loan issued to the society.

Last month, Many Hats Theatre Company said they wished to purchase some of the seats to refurbish their theatre in the Cannery, touching off a review of the situation. According to a staff report, the PCAS feel they still own the assets but were advised that their ownership claim is debatable since they are in default on their city loan, and since the PenMar has been sold, will not be able to meet the conditions of their agreement.

More: Penmar Society votes to keep going

According to the report, city staff believe it is in the best interest of everyone to work cooperatively to liquidate the remaining assets and maximize the pay down on the loan, rather than incurring additional cost to exercise the default provisions of the agreement.

Also on the agenda is Perseus Winery, located at 134 Lower Bench Road, who are asking council to endorse their application to add a winery lounge to their manufacturing and retail operations. In 2013, council chose not to support a similar application after hearing opposition at a public hearing; the Liquor Control and Licencing Branch denied the application and placed a 24-month moratorium on re-application.

More: Penticton council sours on winery expansion

If council agrees to consider the endorsement, staff will begin public notification and consultation, reporting back at the May 23rd council meeting.

Council meets at 1 p.m. on April 18 at 1 p.m. and reconvenes at 6 p.m. to consider zoning and land matters.