Council to consider proposed tax demand of 4.04%
On Monday, April 26, Kelowna City Council will consider a 4.04 per cent tax demand as part of the 2021 Financial Plan.
A 4.04 per cent increase would translate to an $85 increase, or approximately $7 per month, for the City portion on an average residential property tax bill in Kelowna.
“In December 2020, Council deliberated several items in the Preliminary Budget to ensure the City could maintain the essential services and service levels residents have come to expect from us while also making strategic decisions that would help accommodate and plan for the anticipated growth in our community,” said Kevin Hughes, Manager, Corporate Financial Planning.
The 2021 Financial Plan is aligned with Council priorities and includes:
- renewal and upgrade projects, ensuring the community receives continuity in essential services and the assets like roads, sidewalks, clean drinking water, wastewater and traffic lights – things that residents rely on every day;
- improvements to community safety bolstering our safety resources with 14 safety positions proposed, including eight new RCMP Members;
- the development of additional parks and green spaces in our community and improvements accessibility for all ages and abilities to existing parks; and
- advancements on initiatives that address climate change with low-carbon initiatives, energy retrofits, the establishment of greenhouse gas modeling and support for Mill Creek flood protection efforts.
Due to strong fiscal management over the years, the City relies on property taxes to fund approximately one-third of operations, with the majority of City funding coming from other sources such as reserves and surplus, fees and charges, and borrowing.
In the 2020 Citizen Survey, 79 per cent of residents shared they receive good value for their municipal tax dollars and the majority, 91 per cent, say they are satisfied with the overall level and quality of services provided by the City.The financial effects of the pandemic continue to affect individuals, families, businesses and other organizations in our community, including the City.
“While some things remain uncertain, we are maintaining our focus on readiness, resiliency and recovery as we all continue to navigate this evolving economic landscape,” said Hughes. “We will continue to rely on our solid financial principles and strategies which help us remain agile and flexible and able to make strategic decisions to help us meet the current and future needs of our community.”
Council will review the staff recommendations at the Monday, April 26 Council meeting. To listen live, visit kelowna.ca/council.
For more information about the City budget and to view the 2021 Financial Plan, visit kelowna.ca/budget. Property taxes are due July 2 and there is a legislated, non-discretionary penalty of 10 per cent for late payments. Property owners are reminded that the Home Owner Grant program is now provided through the Province of BC. To apply for a retroactive or new grant visit www.gov.bc.ca/homeownergrant.
For information about what the City is doing in response to the COVID-19 health crisis, visit kelowna.ca/covid19.