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Peachland, B.C. aiming to cut budget to help taxpayers during COVID-19 pandemic

The Peachland lake shore in February 2020. The District of Peachland is looking at cutting its 2020 budget in response to the pandemic.
The Peachland lake shore in February 2020. The District of Peachland is looking at cutting its 2020 budget in response to the pandemic. Sharlene Anhorn

Peachland council will be convening in a special online meeting on Tuesday to take a second look at its budget in the hopes of bringing down any tax increases.

Council is expected to review the city’s planned spending for this year in the hopes of cutting any tax increase to help those struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a difficult time. People are out of work, people are worrying about money and if there is something we can do to help make it easier, maybe delay payment or cut back on some projects that we’d hope to do in the next year, then we want to take a look at that,” Mayor Cindy Fortin said.

READ MORE: Vancouver mayor says 25% of city may be unable to pay property taxes due to COVID-19

Fortin said the 2020 budget is still being finalized but before this additional review on spending prompted by the pandemic, the tax increase was expected to be in the ballpark of 4 per cent.

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“It would be great if we didn’t have to raise taxes at all. We still have to operate the town, but hopefully there will be things on there to reduce [the tax rate increases] significantly,” she said.

Fortin pointed to the the fire hall facility assessment study as work that may be able to be delayed. That project is currently budgeted for $55,000.

READ MORE: City of Kelowna preparing to slash 2020 budget amid coronavirus pandemic

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The City of Kelowna has also publicly announced it plans to cut is budget as it expects revenues to drop dramatically this year due to the pandemic.