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Five things to know about city of Kelowna finances

Kelowna City Hall
November 16, 2018 - 3:30 PM

KELOWNA - It’s back to school for Kelowna city councillors Monday morning with math the main subject.

The Mayor and council will be given a two-hour refresher course Monday, Nov. 19, on how city finances work and learn some basic facts about where your tax dollars go, such as:

1. The city of Kelowna collected almost $235 million in taxes in 2018 but only gets to keep about 57 per cent. Here’s where the money goes:

City of Kelowna: $133.5 million
School District: $69.1 million
Regional District: $12.0 million
Hospital: $11.7 million
Library: $6.2 million
B.C. Assessment Authority: $2.0 million

2. Tax increases are not tied to the cost of living. In 2012, those two figures matched at 1.12 per cent each. Since then, municipal taxes have been higher than the Consumer Price Index by:

2013: 2.82 per cent
2014: 0.88 per cent
2015: 1.20 per cent
2016: 2.31 per cent
2017: 1.94 per cent
2018: 0.99 per cent

3. Tax rates vary for different types of properties. For every $1 a homeowner pays, the following types of properties pay:

Major industrial: $6.62
Utilities: $5.55
Light Industrial/Business: $2.38
Farm Improvements: $0.50
Famr Land: $0.15

4. Taxes are not the only source of money for the city, making up only 26 per cent of its revenue. Here’s how it breaks down:

Taxation: $133.5 million
Reserves and Surpluses: $130.3 million
Fees and charges: $120.3 million
Grants: $76.0 million
Other: $58.5
Total: $518.6

5. Police and fire make up 43 per cent of city spending. This is where the money goes:

Civic Operations: $166.0 million
Police: $145.2 million
Fire: $77.8 million
Planning & Development Services: $36.3 million
Active Living & Culture: $25.9 million
Other: $46.7 million

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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