Penticton city council is considering raising the city’s business tax multiplier to 1.83 per cent in 2020 and 1.91 per cent in 2021, which the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce is opposed to. The chamber is urging council to consider the current needs of small businesses in the city. (Photo from Google Maps)

Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce concerned about proposed business tax hike

The City of Penticton is considering raising the BTM to 1.83 per cent in 2020, 1.91 per cent in 2021

The Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce is concerned with the proposed hike for Penticton’s business tax multiplier (BTM).

In a release issued Dec. 12, the chamber stated it attended the city council’s budget deliberations on Dec. 10 to express concerns with the proposed increase that would raise the city’s BTM from 1.81 per cent to 1.83 per cent in 2020, and 1.91 per cent in 2021.

“The chamber is disappointed that the city staff recommendation and the council feedback seemed to express a lack of concern for the importance of keeping the cost of doing business affordable in Penticton,” said Nicole Clark, president of the chamber, in the release.

The release explains that due to different tax rates, businesses in B.C. pay multiple times the property tax bill that a resident would on an equivalent size property, so the BTM is the amount by which a resident’s tax rate is multiplied to generate the business tax rate.

READ MORE: Community safety, recreation and culture first topics of discussion in Penticton’s 2020 budget

In advance of the 2019 budget deliberations, Penticton’s CFO Jim Bauer said the city’s BTM, which was at 1.73 per cent, was at one of the lowest rates in the province.

“The BTM average in the Okanagan Valley is sitting at 2.28 per cent and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business recommends a multiplier of no more than two,” said Bauer to Western News in February, who added that provincial average at the time was 2.73 per cent.

Chamber director Daryl Clarke was in attendance at the Dec. 10 meeting and highlighted that this year’s hike would see small businesses pay an annual increase of $529 in taxes and $869 in fees in general, according to the release.

“We have already seen some significant business closures in the community in recent weeks. The chamber is concerned that this increase is taking the city in the wrong direction. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the community,” said chamber chair Jason Cox in the release.

“They are the employers, the community supporters, the service providers that we all count on and increases like this will have serious impact on their ability to hire, or in some cases, stay in business.”

The release urges city council to consider the current needs of Penticton’s business sector and show support for small businesses, “through spending restraint, low business taxes and adopting policies that encourage economic growth.”

City council is expected to conclude budget deliberations on Dec. 12 following two full days of discussions surrounding the city’s many departments, assets and more.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton Vees score a 9-1 win against Merritt Centennials

The win is their third in a row in their latest streak.

‘Lift for Wills’ community fundraiser to support Penticton boy fighting cancer

This Sunday, stop by World Gym Penticton for by-donation drop-in classes, a silent auction, more.

Petition to install safety barriers on Hwy 97 garners over 500 supporters

Yesterday a fatal collision on Hwy 97 claimed the life of one individual

Oliver Health Centre celebrates expansion of ER

Minister of Health was in Oliver for the official opening of the improved emergency department

ALERT and Penticton pilot team up to talk about Australian wildfires

Mike Bridson has been fighting the fires in Australia, and returns to help more later this month

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

B.C. town spends $14.14 per resident for snow removal in one month

Costs of snow removal to the Town of Princeton skyrocketed in December.… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Most Read