Provisional budget aims to keep momentum going

December 7, 2017

The 2018 Financial Plan is now available at kelowna.ca/budget.

City Council will receive a staff presentation of the 2018 Financial Plan at its regular meeting Dec. 11, and will deliberate requests for budget during an all-day session Dec. 14.

The provisional 2018 Financial Plan proposes a 3.59 per cent tax rate. The final tax rate will be set in April 2018, following final review of requests by City Council.

Leading up to the provisional budget, key themes emerged during the City Manager’s review of community needs and financial resources:

  • Kelowna is rapidly growing and the City must respond to the changing needs in our community.
  • The City needs to renew and maintain operations, with less emphasis this year on new services or amenities.
  • Investments in the City’s support services are needed to maintain service level expectations that are growing with the increased population.

Every provisional budget contains ongoing impact costs that were approved in previous budgets. Two per cent of this year’s tax rate calculations accounts for past commitments. These include:

  • Union and contractor wage increases from previously approved multi-year contracts
  • Ongoing operating costs associated with the new Police Services building
  • Fire Services training and reserve contributions for future infrastructure replacement
  • Activating Phase 2 of the customer care project that will see upgrades to the utility billing system in 2018

Safety remains at the forefront of funding priorities. The proposed addition of 16 frontline emergency personnel (12 career firefighters and four RCMP members) for nearly $1.2M highlight this year’s investments to keep our city safe. Another $1.16M in capital requests is included for the temporary conversion of the Glenmore Firehall No. 8 to a professional firehall and the addition of a fire engine with equipment.

This year’s budget also reflects investments in multi-use corridors to improve and extend balanced, active transportation networks. Of the $16.6M transportation capital requests, less than a quarter will come from taxes.

The City of Kelowna has multiple revenue sources. Taxation represents 37 per cent. Fees and charges (like the Airport Improvement Fee and the Water Utility Fees), grants, and reserves are other forms of revenue sources.

For more information about the City’s budget process, visit kelowna.ca/budget. Please consider going paperless for this large document and instead of printing it, view it online.

On budget deliberation day, Dec. 14, follow the discussion on Twitter with the hashtag #KelownaBudget or listen live via Castanet Council.

Budget facts

  • Proposed tax rate: 3.59 per cent (previous commitments account for 2 per cent)
  • Capital investment (general fund, not including Airport and Utilities): $46.8M ($12.2M funded from taxation)
    • 36 per cent renew
    • 36 per cent growth
    • 28 per cent new
  • Operating requests: $9.3M, $7M funded from taxation, of which:
    • 52 per cent maintain
    • 28 per cent growth
    • 20 per cent new
  • Net operating budget: $134M