West Kelowna City Hall—Image credit: City of West Kelowna

West Kelowna City Hall—Image credit: City of West Kelowna

West Kelowna authorizes up to $6M in borrowing amid pandemic

The Revenue Anticipation Borrowing Bylaw was passed by council on Tuesday

The City of West Kelowna has authorized up to $6 million in borrowing to keep essential services and priority operations afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the Community Charter allows municipalities to enact a bylaw to borrow up to 75 per cent the amount of the previous year’s tax revenue, which would add up to around $25 million, the city’s chief financial officer suggested a $6-million borrowing limit.

The revenue anticipation bylaw came as West Kelowna council deferred the property tax penalty date from July 3 to October 1.

Typically, the city would charge a 10 per cent penalty on any amounts owing the day after the property tax deadline. However, following provincial measures to provide property tax relief to businesses, the city will the late payment penalty for residential and commercial property taxes, giving those who are experiencing financial difficulties more time to pay if needed.

But those who can are still encouraged to pay on time.

“As the city also manages its cash flow during the implications of COVID-19, even paying a portion of their property tax prior to July 2 will help as opposed to submitting late payments,” said Mayor Gord Milsom. “It is critically important for the city to balance the need to keep our operations and economy sustainable as we help our community.”

West Kelowna’s measures follow suit with ones taken across the bridge in Kelowna, though to a lesser degree.

Kelowna city council passed a similar bylaw on April 20, allowing the city to borrow up to $150 million.

READ MORE: Kelowna may borrow up to $150 million to maintain services amid pandemic

READ MORE: West Kelowna Warriors support foodbank with takeout event

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