(Stock photo)

Summerland staff reworks budget

Tax rate remains unchanged, but some items deferred or cut

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Summerland property owners have more time than usual to pay their property taxes this year.

Normally the deadline would be July 3, but this year, it has been extended until the end of September.

As a result, the municipality has been working to address potential cash flow challenges for this year.

“It was definitely something we’ve been looking at since COVID-19 hit,” said David Svetlichny, director of finance for the municipality.

While the four per cent tax increase was not changed as a result of the pandemic, the municipality has made numerous changes to its budget.

READ ALSO: Summerland council revisiting budget

READ ALSO: Summerland issues staff cuts and layoffs due to COVID-19 pandemic

Svetlichny said Summerland council has reduced its annual budget by $13.4 million this year. In February, a budget of $61.6 million had been approved.

Changes to capital projects, including deferring some projects, accounted for $9.6 million from the budget. In some cases, the scope of municipal projects has been changed.

The budget also changed as public facilities were closed and some staff were laid off earlier in the year.

In the past, the municipality would receive money from the rental of the arena for summer hockey schools, graduation and other events. However, since the arena has been closed, the money did not come in.

The Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre has also been closed during the pandemic, also affecting municipal finances.

“We’re not bringing in any recreational revenues,” Svetlichny said.

In mid-April, temporary cuts were made to 11 permanent part-time employees at the fitness centre and 12 full-time employees throughout the municipality. Council also chose not to fill two new positions which had earlier been approved in the 2020 municipal budget.

Summerland mayor Toni Boot said the municipality chose to keep the four per cent tax increase, instead offering reductions in utility rates.

She said it is more equitable for the municipality to reduce utility rates while maintaining the tax level.

“If you’re able to pay, please do so by the July 3 typical tax deadline,” she added.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Municipal Government

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

Just Posted

Penticton restaurant ranked among world’s best by TripAdvisor

The Hooded Merganser was ranked within the top 10 per cent of all restaurants by TripAdvisor reviews

Highway 97 upgrade option for Peachland faces 20-year delay

Peachland council disappointed by highways department decision

Penticton Museum and Archives prepares to reopen

Current exhibit explores the historical relationship between sports and military

RCMP, BC Coroners Service investigate drowning in Penticton

Incident occurred on afternoon of Aug. 11, 2020

Morning Start: Women can give birth after they die

Your morning start for Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020

Video: SUV burns alongside the highway near Salmon Arm

Footage of the burning vehicle was posted to Youtube.

Federal Conservative leadership candidate skirts COVID-19 rules at Kelowna rally

Derek Sloan held a rally in Kelowna that had over 50 people, which is against health orders from the province

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

Kelowna Hells Angels prospect charged with assault, choking

Jason Townsend, 43, was charged after allegedly choking a woman last weekend

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Summerland council to examine meeting options

Present livestreaming has been plagued with sound quality issues

Most Read