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Citizens groups to decide how to pay new sewer tax

A focus group made up of Penticton ratepayers will decide how the city's new sewer tax will be paid.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Michelle Arseneault
January 30, 2018 - 4:18 PM

PENTICTON - The city is counting on two focus groups to provide fair and considered taxpayer input into distribution of Penticton’s new storm water fee.

City Infrastructure General Manager Mitch Moroziuk says the new fee involves a decision over which of two options to select for taxation — a flat fee, which is the same regardless of which property type is assessed, or a tiered fee that would assign higher taxation to commercial and industrial properties.

In both scenarios, however, the proposed fee for a single family home would remain the same.

Under the flat fee, Moroziuk said taxpayers would see a reduction of taxes by the amount of the fee, which would then be attached to the new storm water fee, which was approved as a dedicated fund in this year’s budget.

For 2018, the fee would be $10 per year for those not directly connected to the sewer, while those who are will be billed $13.

Moroziuk said estimates for cost of the service, while addressing asset management issues and new construction needs would see taxes rise to $153 or $199 annually, by 2025, the lower number again being taxpayers not directly connected.

The second option under consideration by the focus group involves a tiered fee that varies, depending on property class.

“There is some linkage between the kind of property you have, and how much storm water you generate,” he said, noting commercial properties with paved parking lots and large, flat roofed buildings generated more storm water than other properties.

Under the variable option, the lowest rate payable would be $5.30 if not directly connected, and $6.90 if connected.

The most anyone would pay would be $20.30 and $26.40, respectively, Moroziuk said, adding the lower numbers quoted above ($5.30 and $6.90) applied to apartment buildings per unit, the second, larger numbers applying to business and industry.

Moroziuk said the above numbers are expected to rise to $88.30 and $105.7 for apartments, and $308.80 and $401.40 for business and industry by 2025.

The information was previously presented at the Nov. 7 council meeting and at budget discussions.

“There hasn’t been a decision made on which of these rate structures we’re going with. That’s the focus group’s work,” Moroziuk said, adding the 2025 numbers were”ideal” numbers that may not hold up beyond 2019 budget discussions.

The focus groups will be held Feb.7 and Feb.8 between 5 and 7 p.m. at 249 Westminster Ave. A recommendation to council will be made at a meeting in March.

News from © iNFOnews, 2018

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