photo: contributed

Westbank First Nation Council approves annual budget

BC Assessment showed a 3.27% growth rate in new construction on WFN land

Westbank First Nation Council gave final approval to the 2019-2020 annual budget on Monday, March 25.

Prior to WFN Council approval, the local government and property tax budget was reviewed and accepted by the WFN Advisory Council, which represents the more than 9,000 residents on WFN lands.

In 2019, property taxation revenues will total $15.4 million, a 6.0 per cent increase over 2018. With average gross taxes up $67, or 3.6 per cent, 4496 taxable residents will pay an average of $1,345 after WFN’s Homeowner Grant.

READ MORE: Regional District of Central Okanagan’s budget smaller than last year’s

READ MORE: Budget bill would tighten loophole that encourages irregular border-crossing

WFN property taxes pay for the following services:

  • · Protective services (fire protection, law enforcement) $2.5 million
  • · Local services (transit, regional parks, community centres, library) $2.3 million
  • · Recreation and youth programs $0.6 million
  • · Financial reserves (capital project and contingency reserves) $2.2 million
  • · Community development (engineering, planning, public works) $1.7 million
  • · General government (administration, governance, finance) $4.8 million
  • · Homeowner Grants $1.9 million

READ MORE: Kelowna budget carryovers won’t add to taxation demand

For 2019, BC Assessment showed a 3.27 per cent growth rate in new construction on WFN lands, totalling $61.07 million. Market values increased total assessments a further 6.55 per cent. Total residences increased from 4,361 in 2018 to 4,496 in 2019. Combined with approximately 480 businesses, assessed taxable property on WFN lands totals $2.05 billion, ranking WFN approximately 58th among the 162 registered municipalities in B.C.

Property tax notices will be mailed in late May, and the final deadline for payment without penalty is July 2. Residents on WFN lands are also welcome to attend the Advisory Council Annual General Meeting scheduled for May 1 from 4p.m. to 7 p.m. in the sənsisyustən House of Learning Gymnasium for an annual update from Chief Roxanne Lindley and Advisory Council chairperson Terry Turcan.

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