A 3.9 per cent tax increase is among many issues that will be discussed by Kelowna city council at next week’s budget deliberations.
All 519 pages of the 2020 financial plan will land on the mayor and councillors’ desks on Monday, giving them a few days to browse before Thursday’s seven-hour-long meeting to discuss each line of the document. At the end of the day on Thursday, council will come out with a provisional budget for the next year.
The proposed 3.9 per cent tax hike consists of 2.08 per cent for municipal operations and 1.82 per cent for the infrastructure levy. Notably, the infrastructure levy is down considerably from last year’s 2.27 per cent.
The increase would see the owner of an average Kelowna home pay an extra $81 a year.
The summary that will go to council on Monday outlines a $151 million tax demand — up $8.5 million from last year. That number is made up of $147.6 million in operating costs and $14.6 for capital spending, subtracting the $11.2 million already allotted in general revenue.
Significant portions of the operating budget are earmarked for community safety ($38.27 million) and civic operations ($31.51 million).
The proposal also includes requests for 21 positions within the RCMP — including seven new officers — which would cost the city over $1 million.
Last year’s budget deliberations saw the proposed 4.4 per cent tax increase trimmed to 4.1 per cent by the time it was approved.