Raising Kelowna taxes ‘no silver bullet’

City needs to look at more innovative ways to fund infrastructure moving forward

The City of Kelowna will need to do more to fund future infrastructure says a new report. —Image: Capital News file

Kelowna city council already plans to raise property taxes this year by an extra 1.95 per cent this year and going forward to help pay for future infrastructure, now a new city report says Kelowna will have to do even more to meet the need.

The city’s annual Community Trends Report focused this year on infrastructure renewal and funding and says infrastructure costs over the next 10 years could reach as high as $1.5 billion, with the city coming up short by nearly $480 million.

“Infrastructure is more than just pipes in the ground and roads,” city planner Ross Soward told council Monday.

He said it includes things like transit, parks and other amenities that add to quality of life and make the city a desirable place to live.

Because of the “infrastructure deficit,” Kelowna will need to be more innovative about how it generates funding for future infrastructure, says the report. That could include grants from other levels of government, partnerships, getting private money to help pay for public infrastructure, paying up front to realize long-term savings and infill development to limit sprawl among other approaches.

“There is no silver bullet,” said Soward.

He said Kelowna is not alone in facing an infrastructure crunch. It is currently being felt by cities across the country. Nationally, the report said Canada is facing a $270 billion infrastructure deficit.

“It’s going to require a holistic response exploring new funding tools, changing some policies and new ways of doing business,” said Soward.

In December, city council added the 1.95 per cent to the proposed 2019 property tax increase, bringing the planned increase to a total of 4.43 per cent. Last year, the tax increase was 3.6 per cent without any additional levy to help pay for future infrastructure needs.

But the “levy,” as the city is calling it, will only generate about 10 per cent of what is needed for infrastructure over the next 10 years.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Interior Health sees uptick in calls about measles after outbreak in Vancouver

IH has received an extra few hundred calls about measle immunization and status

‘His kids were No. 1’: Wife remembers man shot dead in Kamloops

Wife of Kamloops shooting victim describes him as loving, hardworking family man

Lake Country staff work to mitigate wildfire risk in Okanagan Centre

Staff have been removing forest fuels and some trees

West Kelowna pulls together for family’s pop-can tab collections

Thompson Chadsey collects aluminum pop-can tabs to repay his hospital

Summerland to host fourth annual Grand Sommelier Express

Wine event will be held on Kettle Valley Steam Railway’s historic train

5 Events to check out at local ski hills

Check out this new column from Okanagan events guru Christina Ferreira

Former Okanagan fire chief sues City of Vernon after termination

Keith Green’s civil claim says that he believes he was wrongfully terminated

Okanagan man cashes in $500,000 Daily Grand lotto ticket

Penticton resident Harald Naegel won using his regular five numbers

Alberta’s oil-by-rail plan a worry for Shuswap mayor

High volume of train traffic already an environmental/public safety concern

Okanagan biathlete bronzed at Winter Games

Ethan Algra helps Team BC earn medal in Red Deer

New report calls for regulated heroin sales to curb B.C.’s overdose problem

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

Okanagan man fined $600 for twenty-third illegal driving conviction

Judge says another offense could result in jail time

Most Read