According to my research, the city’s spending is off the charts.
I believe we pay the highest taxes in the Valley. Our debt load (per resident) is double Kelowna’s.
A review of the 2013 statistics, available on the B.C. Government website, reveals that per capita Penticton taxes are $752 compared to Kelowna at $620, Vernon at $703 and Oliver at $300.
Per capita spending by city has Penticton at $2,614, Kelowna at $2,054, Vernon at $1,513 and Oliver at $1,462.
Our per capita debt stands at $2,030, Kelowna’s at $1,094, Vernon’s at $815 and Oliver’s at $1,187.
Penticton city council recently approved a five-year financial plan. Our city forecasts spending $90 million on capital projects, an average of $18 million per year. The plan also forecasts millions of additional dollars in operating expenses.
We need a council focused on implementing a plan to reduce operating costs and capital spending. The makeup of the new council is critical in determining whether Penticton adopts a more financially responsible position over the next four years.