December 7, 2018 8:37 pm
Updated: December 7, 2018 9:54 pm

Kelowna city taxes could see a hike


City tax notices in Kelowna could see a new levy tacked onto the bill. Kelowna city staff is recommending an infrastructure levy of 1.95 per cent.

“The infrastructure levy is a common tool that B.C. municipalities are using,” Genelle Davidson, City of Kelowna’s divisional director of financial services, said. “Over 50 per cent of B.C. municipalities are using the infrastructure tool today.”

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In total, property owners could see a 4.4 per cent tax hike for 2019, including a 2.45 per cent increase in the general municipal tax rate, under city staff’s current recommendations.

According to the city, that would mean the owner of an average single detached home with an assessed value of $682,260 would have to pay an extra $88 dollars in taxes a year.

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The city is currently short $477 million for its 10-year capital plan, which is forecasted to cost more than $1.05 billion over the next ten years.

“It’s large infrastructure that we are referring to: bridges, large buildings such as the Parkinson Rec Centre would be considered, parks,” Davidson said.

“We are looking at other opportunities to mitigate [the deficit], so we’re looking at a fees and charges review, changes to our DCC program, public-private partnerships, looking at other opportunities to help reduce that deficit,” she added.

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If the infrastructure levy goes ahead as planned, it would give the city an extra $2.6 million dollars next year and then $5.2 million in 2020.

“Through to 2027, that would complete about $44-million worth of projects,” Davidson said.

The tax hike has not been approved, and council will begin budget deliberations on Thursday.

The final tax rate won’t be set until April next year after the city has had a chance to review all its budgetary requests.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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