Summerland's proposed tax increase will just cover the basics

Summerland is considering raising taxes by two per cent and other rate increases just to pay its bills.
Image Credit: District of Summerland

SUMMERLAND - Summerland council is considering raising property taxes by two per cent and other rates just to pay for what it already has.

Mayor Janice Perrino said the two per cent general property tax increase, combined with a 3.6 per cent increase in electrical rates and a five per cent increase for sewage rates will mean a home priced at $350,000 will pay an extra $82.35 a year. The proposed rate adjustments received first reading during discussion of Summerland's 2014-2018 financial plan at a council meeting Monday night.

Perrino said raising property taxes by two per cent is not to pay for major capital projects - it's just to pay the bills.

"A two per cent tax increase brings in $135,000. That's it," she said. "We need the two per cent tax increase.. to keep up with the cost of living."

She said the town's been lucky with grants for past capital projects, getting 50 cents for every dollar, but there's no grants for the foreseeable future.

And the sewage rate increase will mean staff can continue performing regular maintenance and retrofitting. The five per cent sewer increase will work out to $13.24 per household.

The proposed increases are the latest in cost-saving measures taken by Summerland. Earlier this month it announced eight jobs will be cut or restructured to save $500,000.

A town hall meeting on the 2014-2018 financial plan will be held on Feb. 17 before the changes receive further readings by council.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at squesnel@infotelnews.ca, call 250-488-3065 or tweet @InfoNewsPentict.


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