Here’s where some of the $17M in new Kelowna taxes will be spent | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Here’s where some of the $17M in new Kelowna taxes will be spent

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK

The City of Kelowna is looking at a 2024 property tax increase of just under 5% which translates into almost $17 million in new money flowing into city coffers.

Just over $190 million will be collected from Kelowna property owners out of a total revenue stream of $560.9 million. The second biggest revenue source is $179.6 million in fees and charges.

The new money will be sent to dozens of different places within the city organization with all the new spending carefully documented in a massive, 400-page provisional budget that city council will plod through on Dec. 7.

Some of the highlights include a dozen new RCMP officers, who cost $214,200 per year each. That will bring the force to 240 members (give or take a few vacancies).

The city will also be hiring four more firefighters and two senior bylaw officers.

Another $650,000 is needed to “renew the Journey Home Strategy.”

Journey Home was created in 2018 to not only tackle but to eliminate homelessness by this time.

Instead, the numbers living on Kelowna streets have grown to the 250 range and the city announced last summer that it was taking over that function as of Jan. 1.

READ MORE: Kelowna won't renew agreement with society tasked with fighting homelessness

That $650,000 is not broken down in detail. Some is going to things like increased bylaw staffing and other services but $383,400 is dedicated to “Social Development Services.”

That will “take on the role of ‘backbone entity,’ leading coordination of and collaboration among community groups, agencies and other levels of government,” according to the budget documents.

Another $545,300 is earmarked for Social Development Services in 2025 and $731,100 the following year for a total of $1.7 million over three years.

On a much smaller scale, a notable new initiative is a two-year Neighbourhood Association Pilot Program, costing $78,000 next year and $93,400 in 2025.

The program “aims to grow the capacity of Kelowna’s neighbourhood associations to help deepen community relationships,” the budget says. “Select neighbourhood associations will commit to build community engagement within their neighbourhoods by attending workshops, implementing neighbourhood-based events, projects and programs.”

See all the budget details here.

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