March 25, 2016 - 6:00 AM
PENTICTON - Homeowners in the regional district will notice another increase of roughly $5 on their tax bill this year following approval of the hospital budget this week.
The hospital tax bill for the average residential property, valued at $305,000, will increase to $101 in 2016, up from $96 last year, Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Finance Manager Sandy Croteau says.
The regional district continues to beef up its reserves in order to have some money in the bank for the hospital care tower expansion, Croteau says, adding the district currently has $38 million in reserves, which generated approximately $520,000 in interest last year.
The district’s $5.8-million hospital budget represents an increase of about $287,500 over last year, and includes a capital budget of roughly $1.7 million.
South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation Executive Director Janice Perrino also spoke to the hospital board this week about the hospital care tower and the foundation’s fundraising efforts.
Calling the $325-million expansion 'the largest project ever done in Penticton,' Perrino said the completed facility will be three times the size of the South Okanagan Events Centre.
“We’ve never raised this kind of money before,” Perrino says of the foundation’s fundraising goal of $20 million.
She says the foundation currently has $6.5 million in cash, and several million more in pledges.
Perrino, a passionate supporter of the hospital, appealed to board members and regional district residents to make a donation or pledge a donation over the next four to five years, during the construction phase of the project.
Taxpayers were already facing tax increases of $2 to $26 based on the 2016 district budget, set at $37.3 million by the regional district earlier this month.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016