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Penticton budget deliberations get underway next week

City eyeing 8.7% property tax with a focus on public safety

Penticton city council’s budget deliberations get underway next week when they will debate the proposed 8.7 per cent property tax hike.

Council will review the proposed 2024 Financial and Corporate Business Plan on Nov. 21, 22 and 23.

The agendas for each day and presentations are available here.

Presentations will begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday and at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

The Tuesday special council meeting will start with a financial plan overview, summary of public feedback, debt and borrowing and reserves overview.

First day of deliberations will include presentations about community services like the pool, arenas and centres, followed by the SOEC and library.

Then the budget will concentrate on emergency services with new fire chief Mike Larsson and RCMP Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck presenting.

This will follow by corporate administration and finance and administration.

Day 2 will begin with grants, development services and infrastructure.

The majority of the tax increase, six per cent of it, is being driven by the increase that was deferred out of 2022’s budget. In that budget, the previous council voted to defer a 10 per cent increase and cover the difference with surplus funds and COVID-19 grant funding.

If council gives their approval to roll the full deferral increase into 2024 for the proposed 8.7 hike, that would equal about $15 a month ($175 per year) in higher taxes for the average residential property worth $699,290. The average business can expect to see their tax go up $57 a month.

READ MORE: Penticton focuses on public safety with 8.7% tax increase

Last year, the city’s taxes went up 9.5 per cent.

Local politicians gathered in March to make their final decisions on the city’s 2023 budget, with a contentious, hour-long discussion ending with the final stamp of approval for the 9.5 per cent tax increase.

Meanwhile, down south in Osoyoos, residents there are facing a whopping 30 per cent tax increase.

READ MORE: Osoyoos sees 30% property tax increase, 100% sewer, water up

Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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