The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen’s budget is expected to increase by 2.8 per cent for 2021.
The budget, covering six incorporated communities, the Penticton Indian Band and nine electoral areas, passed first reading at the regional district’s board meeting on Jan. 21. The budget for this year is $20,674,413, up from $20,110,431 in 2020.
Not all communities and regions are affected in the same way.
Jim Zaffino, finance manager with the regional district, said each community or electoral area is assessed based on the services it receives from the regional district. Communities and electoral areas receiving significant services are charged more than those with minimal services.
“This is the combination of 155 different budgets. Each service requires a budget,” Zaffino said.
The six incorporated communities — Penticton, Summerland, Princeton, Oliver, Osoyoos and Keremeos — will contribute close to 30 per cent of the total, while the Penticton Indian Band and the electoral areas will contribute just over 70 per cent of the total.
The budget for rural areas is $14,491,055, a 2.8 per cent increase over last year’s $13,963,159. The various electoral areas will see their budgets increase by 2.0 to 6.27 per cent.
- Electoral Area A — 5.86 per cent
- Electoral Area B — 4.04 per cent
- Electoral Area C — 3.09 per cent
- Electoral Area D — 4.39 per cent
- Electoral Area E — 2.00 per cent
- Electoral Area F — 2.07 per cent
- Electoral Area G — 3.66 per cent
- Electoral Area H — 6.27 per cent
- Electoral Area I — 3.48 per cent
Penticton’s share of the budget is $2,161,532, up by 0.21 per cent from the amount in 2020. Summerland will contribute $826,778, or 1.03 per cent of the amount eh community paid in 2020.
The town of Princeton will see its contribution to the regional district increase by 6.36 per cent, rising to $104,064. Keremeos, with a contribution of $513,189, will see its amount increase by 4.19 per cent.
Oliver will contribute $1,573,470, an increase of 0.58 per cent. For Osoyoos, the community’s payment to the regional district will decrease by 2.29 per cent, falling to $902,626.
While the budget has passed the first reading, the figures will be amended for the second reading, since the regional district has received COVID-19 relief funding from the province.
The total amount of COVID-19 relief funding for the regional district is $773,000, but some of that money has already been allocated, Zaffino said.