Letter: Kelowna isn’t what it used to be

Well, welcome to the new Kelowna.

To the editor:

New residents to Kelowna are shocked to find out how much the city taxes its residents, despite five significant years of a booming development and tourism economy.

Well, welcome to the new Kelowna.

Where the city is afraid and unwilling to tax its tourist and development industries. Where tourism is expected to grow to 3.5 million visitors by 2022. Where 2017 housing starts totalled 3,577 new residential units, of which 920 were single-family units and 2,654 multifamily units. Where 1,773 of these new units were rental units in buildings zoned for short-term tourist rental uses.

RELATED: Rental vacancy rates increase in Kelowna along with price

Where city staff proposes converting every home, townhouse, condo and apartment in the city to short-term Airbnb tourist rentals—despite the fact this will increase land, housing and rental costs and reduce long-term rental stock availability.

Where council reluctantly voted five to four this week to slow suburban growth in an effort to reduce its massive $478 million infrastructure deficit.

Where council allows its staff to propose an average 2019 tax hike of 2.5 per cent and, to add insult to injury, propose another 2 per cent infrastructure levy on all property owners to help reduce the deficit.

Where council has hiked the average home tax by more than 20 per cent in the five years since Mayor Colin Basran took office.

I wake up at night wishing this bad dream would go away. Or, that the mayor would order his staff to take the burden off taxpayers and put it on developers and tourists where it firmly belongs.

Sincerely,

Richard Drinnan

Kelowna

Just Posted

Rockets rookie camp concludes with praise from management

150 prospects demonstrated their skills over last week’s camp

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Westbank, Kelowna

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Hot start not enough for West Kelowna in 2-1 pre-season loss

The Warriors dropped game two of the pre-season to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks

‘Significant number’ of Kelowna rentals over 40 years old: report

From 2011 to 2016, 73 per cent of new households in Kelowna were rentals, according to the city

Fire in Kelowna apartment started in garbage can

The apartment was evacuated for a 4th-floor fire

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Most Read