Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna slashes proposed tax increase by half to 2.05%

The 2020 provisional budget, approved by council in December, called for a 4.15 per cent tax increase

The City of Kelowna has slashed the proposed tax rate by over half the initial amount in light of the economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city’s final 2020 budget was amended and approved on May 4.

The now 2.05 per cent increase — down from the December-approved provisional budget’s proposed increase of 4.15 per cent — will see the average homeowner pay an additional $43 in municipal taxes. The provisional budget would have seen that number doubled, at $86 more per average household.

The tax rate cut means the city will reduce planned spending for new capital projects, defer or eliminate new positions and reduce operational budgets across city departments.

“This year, the annual budget prioritizes keeping the taxation demand as low as possible while ensuring we can maintain essential services and continue to invest in important projects that will make a difference for our residents,” said Genelle Davidson, divisional director of financial services. “We are taking action to support our residents where we can as we work towards financial stability and eventually, economic recovery.”

The city’s net 2020 operating budget is $148.8 million — down from the provisional budget’s $151.3 million. General municipal taxation in 2020 will account for 25 per cent of the city’s total revenue.

Usually, the city receives one-third of its operating costs from such taxes. The majority of the city’s operating funds come from things such as reserves and surplus, fees and charges and borrowing.

“The final budget this year is like no other budget in Kelowna’s history,” said Davidson.

Mayor Colin Basran said the financial turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for years to come and it’s not something that can be fixed in a single city budget. He anticipates this will affect the city’s budgeting decisions for the next few years.

“Many things remain uncertain, but readiness, resiliency and recovery are our goals as we navigate this evolving economic landscape,” said Davidson. “We continue to be financially prudent and will adapt by monitoring, planning and making strategic decisions to help us meet the current and future needs of our community.”

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


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of Kelowna

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A COVID-19 exposure has been confirmed at Black Mountain Elementary in Kelowna Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Google Image)
Another COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kelowna school

Interior Health confirmed an exposure at Black Mountain Elementary School Saturday

Members of BCEHS Station 343 in Lake Country receive a donation of treats and wine from the community in December. (Contributed)
‘Unexpected and heartwarming’: Okanagan community supports paramedics

Cards, discounts, treats, more given to Lake Country paramedics in sign of support

Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis has served as the band’s chief since his first of six electoral wins in 1991. (File photo)
Okanagan Indian Band seeks nominations for upcoming election

A new OKIB chief and council will be elected March 30, 2021

An individual at Rutland Senior Secondary school has tested positive for COVID-19. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Individual at Kelowna school tests positive for COVID-19

Authorities say they are self-isolating at home with support from local health teams

Flooding has become a reality for many communities in the Okanagan Valley as the region faces more extreme weather storms, blamed on the impact of climate change. (File photo)
Okanagan high target for spring flooding

Higher snowpack and mild winter precipitation levels raise concerns for Canada’s insurance industry

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

(Hal Brindley - Dreamstime)
Enderby farmers caught between coyotes and bylaw tickets

The Smith family is stuck in a Catch-22 between protecting their livestock and incurring noise complaints

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

The North Okanagan Naturalists' Club completed its annual swan and eagle counts Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (Claude Rioux - NONC photo)
North Okanagan bird count shows decrease in swan and eagle numbers

Trumpeter swans were down 61 per cent from last year’s count; eagles down 14 per cent

Lake Country firefighters helped deliver a healthy newborn baby Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Pixabay)
Lake Country firefighters help deliver baby boy

Firefighters from the Winfield hall assisted with the birth of a healthy newborn Thursday morning

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Skaha Middle School
Arrest made in indecent acts near South Okanagan schools

A 32-year-old man was arrested and released on strict conditions, say police

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Most Read