Osoyoos looks at worst case scenario for tax hikes to pay for rising policing cost - InfoNews

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Osoyoos looks at worst case scenario for tax hikes to pay for rising policing cost

FILE PHOTO - Osoyoos businesses could see a near doubling of taxes for policing costs following the release of recent census figures showing the town's population exceeding 5,000 residents.
March 23, 2017 - 11:53 AM

OSOYOOS - Osoyoos council has released some figures for residents anxious to how much their property taxes will go up next year because of rising policing costs.

RCMP costs are expected to rise because the town's population has surpassed the 5,000 mark.

Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff says council provided worst case scenario figures at the Monday, March 20, council meeting after hearing comments from many residents concerned about how much more they were going to have to pay as the town continues to negotiate a new policing service model with the province.

McKortoff says an Osoyoos residence currently valued at $400,000, now paying $99.60 in property taxes for policing costs will pay $271.96 in 2018, "the way it's set up now."

That equates to an increase of $67.99 per $100,000, from $24.90 per $100,000 of assessed value in 2016.

McKortoff says a business that paid $244 in 2016 would be paying $435 in 2018.

The new policing costs only partially apply to 2017.

The mayor says negotiations are ongoing with the province in an effort to negotiate a fair deal for the town, in addition to making the province understand why they should be more lenient with Osoyoos in terms of costing, negotiating and sharing of community policing services in town and the outlying areas.

"We’re trying to make sure the tax increase comes from policing costs, without cutting out essential things that are important to the town. We want to keep policing services as a separate tax,” McKortoff says.

Osoyoos has also applied to Census Canada to take another look at the census figures, but they have until July 2018 to complete a review.

“In the meantime, we have to carry on with what we’re doing,” she says.

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