Letter: Back to tax drawing board for Kelowna council

There are many priority items in the Draft 2030 Infrastructure Plan budget that can either be eliminated or deferred to future years.

To the editor:

Kelowna’s proposed 4.12 per cent average tax hike is outrageous and is three times greater than Canada’s current inflation rate of 1.4 per cent. Council needs to significantly lower the tax hike because it is neither sustainable nor justified. There are many priority items in the Draft 2030 Infrastructure Plan budget that can either be eliminated or deferred to future years.

One item that council has the discretion to change is the 28 per cent public assist subsidy given to developers to offset infrastructure services needed by their projects. Page five of the Draft Plan predicts that by 2030, the city will need $254 million for new roads; $145 million for new parks; $96 million for new sewer lines; and $89 million for new water lines. These servicing costs total $584 million and include the $168 million public subsidy council chooses to give developers.

Taxpayers and council need to look seriously at ending these outrageous public subsidies because they raise taxes and contribute significantly to the proposed 4.12 per cent tax hike planned for 2016.

An accountable and responsible Council would reduce the proposed tax hike by eliminating public subsidies to developers and get them off the backs of taxpayers.

Richard Drinnan, Kelowna

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