West Kelowna not to go above three per cent tax increase

West Kelowna is on the road towards a three per cent tax increase; however, it could still go down to 2.11 per cent or slightly lower.

A three per cent tax increase is what District of West Kelowna staff proposed to council two weeks ago.

After a full afternoon of deliberations and debate on Tuesday, three per cent is still the magic number.

“Three per cent would be the highest,” said chief financial officer, Jim Zaffino.

Zaffino noted that the tax increase could also be 2.11 per cent or lower, depending on how council decides to use its discretionary funds.

Council dedicated Tuesday’s meeting to going over the 2012 financial plan. The district was able to find savings in a couple of areas; therefore, Zaffino predicts that there will be more money than anticipated in discretionary funds, which may lower the tax burden further.

Zaffino said the growth factor still needs to be determined before he can pinpoint the impact on the taxpayer.

Coun. Duane Ophus said that West Kelowna is still on the path towards a three per cent tax increase.

“At this point, we haven’t changed—we’re on a three per cent tax increase approach. Really, what it could come down to at the end of the day, is whether we put it into reserves or reduce the tax increase,” said Ophus.

The DWK has indicated that this is a conservative budget, with the largest increases being in the areas of transit, RCMP and library costs.

During Tuesday’s meeting, council made decisions on capital requests, supplemental FTEs and grants-in-aid.

The district opted to defer looking at tax multipliers and options until staff is able to analyze assessment anomalies and bring a comprehensive report to council.

District staff is aiming to get the first reading of the budget on the Feb. 14 council meeting agenda.


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