May 07, 2013 - 6:31 PM
Pensioners were spared a tiny increase in their taxes at a Penticton city council meeting today.
Acting mayor Garry Litke, Couns. John Vassilaki and Wesley Hopkin voted on Monday not to shift some of the tax burden from commercial properties onto residential taxpayers. If this motion had passed, the average homeowner would have paid $7 more a year.
"Our main residents in this community have a tough time making ends meet," Hopkin said. The only ones to benefit from this tax burden shift would have been large businesses.
Vassilaki is usually at odds with Hopkin but he sided with the younger councillor. Residents and cash-strapped pensioners do not need a tax increase.
"In this case I'm going to go a little bit on the left," he said.
Litke agreed. "We promised a zero per cent tax increase to the homeowners of this community," he said, adding some pensioners have budgets so tight they must choose between paying for heat or paying for food.
Coun. Helena Konanz and Coun. Andrew Jakubeit argued Penticton needs to be more business friendly.
"If we support business in this community everybody wins," Konanz said.
A special council meeting will be held Thursday morning to pass the amended tax rate bylaw in time for the provincial deadline.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at email@example.com, call 250-488-3065 or tweet @shannonquesnel1
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013