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Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen budget increases

Total tax requisition for 2023 budget tops $24M
The 2023 budget for the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen calls for a total tax requisition of more than $23 million. (Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen image)

The 2023 budget for the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen will be higher than originally anticipated.

The latest tax requisition document, presented at the March 2, board meeting, calls for a total tax requisition of $24,092,253 for all regional district budgets.

This is an increase from the preliminary budget document, presented on Jan. 5, which had called for a total tax requisition of $23,964,753. This is an increase of $127,500.

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The increase in the tax requisition compared to the 2022 budget is 8.86 per cent, up from the increase of 8.29 per cent in the preliminary budget document.

Jim Zaffino, manager of finance for the regional district, said there were no big changes to categories in the budget. Instead, a series of small adjustments added up and affected the total budget.

The cost of a governance study for the unincorporated community of Okanagan Falls increased by $50,000. Another budget increased by $20,000.

The costs of the Sterile Insect Release program and the Okanagan Regional Library both increased more than the cost of living. These increases also added to the budget.

The cost of animal control and the 911 service both increased slightly as well.

The budget document presented to the regional district board on March 2, was 285 pages. Zaffino said this is condensed from the earlier drafts of the budget, which had weighed in at 1,074 pages.

During the budget process, the regional district directors were able to make requests and suggest changes to the document. Zaffino also had 16 presentations and public hearing sessions on the budget.

There were few comments to the public, with the most being on the regional district’s transit service.

The budget has now been adopted for the year.

The regional district serves the communities of Penticton, Summerland, Princeton, Oliver, Osoyoos and Keremeos as well as the Penticton Indian Band. There are also nine electoral areas within the regional district.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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