The Downtown Penticton Association (DPA) has initiated talks with the city to renew the business levy bylaw before it expires in April.
In a letter to city council, the association’s executive director Lynn Allin requested a number of changes the group would like to see in a new, five-year agreement with the city.
Among those changes include increasing the levy limit on banks and credit unions.
The association wrote to the mayor and city council that they would like to see an increase to the maximum cap on levy amounts to $12,000.
“Historically, properties such as banks and credit unions have paid a set maximum of $2,888, resulting in smaller property owners covering a higher portion of the levy,” the letter reads.
According to the association, banks and credit unions have paid the maximum bi-annual rate of $2,888 instead of a non-capped rate of $3,100 to $10,000.
The five-year bylaw, set to expire in the spring, governs the Business Improvement Area (BIA) in Penticton’s downtown core.
Levy payments are used to fund DPA events in the city, which in turn promote local businesses. The association listed several of its organized events over the last five years in the letter submitted to council.
As part of the initial request, the association compared Penticton’s current downtown situation to other communities in the province.
“Most BIA’s do not cap their levy rate,” the letter continued. “There are two BIA’s in B.C. with a cap of $15,000.”
In an effort to maintain a vibrant and welcoming downtown, the association says that its recommendations to the city will create a financial levy required for the group to deliver on its mandates full of services.
The potential levy renewal is set to be a topic of discussion at the city’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Jan. 18.
Next week’s meeting will mark the city’s first in 2022. COVID-19 concerns have moved both the regular council meeting and Committee of the Whole Meeting to an online format.