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Kelowna council to start budget process with proposed 2.67 per cent tax hike
Kelowna city council will head into its annual budget deliberations next week with a staff recommendation that residential property taxes increase by 2.67 per cent in 2014.
The city's provisional 2014 Financial Plan during will be hammered out during an all-day public meeting Dec. 12. Council will receive an overview presentation of the plan at its regular council meeting on Monday Dec. 9.
Next year, the city says it will be challenged to provide new services that are in demand, while maintaining existing services levels and looking for opportunities for future growth.
And all that needs to happen while working to minimize the demand from taxpayers.
“Our objective is to provide residents with the best quality of life we can afford,” said financial planning manager Genelle Davidson. “Revenue from property taxes help us build the amenities people want and provide them with the services they need.”
About three-quarters of the city revenues already come from non-tax sources, including user fees, charges, grants and reserve accounts.
City hall says thanks to that financial strategy, Kelowna's residential property taxes continue to be among the lowest in the province.
The budget is also influenced by a number of other city plans including:
• The 2020 Capital Plan acts which is a guide for capital infrastructure costs and ensures projects are prepared with funding sources identified over the long-term,
• The city's Official Community Plan which identifies issues and opportunities expected over the next 20 years
• The city’s 20-Year Servicing Plan and financing strategy which supports the infrastructure needs called for in the OCP
While a provisional tax rate will be arrived at by the end of the budget deliberations next week, the final tax rate will be not be set until May 5 when Kelonwa city council reviews final budget requests.
and knows how much it will have from new construction revenues to offset any tax increase.
Residents can take a deeper look inside the city budget process by visiting the city's website at kelowna.ca/budget, signing up for e-updates or following the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #KelownaBudget.