PENTICTON - The City of Penticton is contemplating a three per cent increase in property taxes next year, according to an early budget proposal from city staff.
Chief administrative officer Peter Weeber gave city council a look at the budget primer at a meeting yesterday, Nov. 7, as part of the city efforts to engage the community fully and early on in budget discussions.
Weeber said the city is currently contemplating a three per cent hike in property taxes, which works out to an increase of approximately $13 per $100,000 of assessed value.
The preliminary budget includes a proposal to fund another police officer in order to increase security in the downtown core and other parts of the city where security issues are greatest. It also calls for increased bylaw enforcement capability with a relief position converted to full time in order to better serve residents with complaints.
Weber said the city is looking at an additional $240,000 to improve the building permit process in order to cut the time it takes to issue a building permit from 10 weeks to four weeks.
The city is also reviewing the Economic Development Zones program which includes $2.5 million in tax incentives.
Utility rates are up for review this year as well.
The city’s capital projects budget is set at $18.9 million, with utility, water and sewer services taking $9.4 million and the rest going to general capital projects.
The preliminary budget includes $2.1 million for downtown revitalization in 2018, in addition to setting aside funds to fix infrastructure damaged during this spring’s floods.
A discussion over the fate of Skaha Marina is imminent as it reaches the end of its lifespan, with a proposal for a two-year revitalization project.
Weeber said the city has a number of properties it could release for sale to assist in funding 2018 budget items, including residential properties on Forestbrook Drive, PIneview Road and Guernsey Avenue, and a small commercial lot on Ellis Street.
He said the city plans to release the initial 2018 financial plan on the city’s Shape Your City website on Nov. 15.
A budget meeting for the business community is planned for Nov. 22 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, followed by a community night on Nov. 23 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. prior to council budget presentations on Nov. 28, Nov. 20 and Nov. 30.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 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.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.