Penticton Chamber disappointed with proposed business tax hike - InfoNews

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Penticton Chamber disappointed with proposed business tax hike

The Penticton Chamber of Commerce expressed disappointment at the initial direction of city council on the upcoming budget in a press release issued this morning, Dec. 12, 2019.
December 12, 2019 - 11:06 AM

With Penticton city council's tax deliberations just getting underway this week, the local chamber of commerce is already expressing disappointment at the direction the politicians are taking.

Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce president Nicole Clerk says in a media release today, Dec. 12, that council is showing “a lack of concern for the importance of keeping the cost of doing business affordable in Penticton.”

Penticton businesses pay different tax rates than residential property tax owners. The amount is calculated using what is known as a business tax multiplier, which is currently set at 1.81 per cent and is proposed to rise to 1.91 per cent in two years.

This year’s proposed budget increase to 2.9 per cent is estimated to add $72.53 per month to the average Penticton business property tax bill.

“We have already seen some significant business closures in the community in recent weeks. The Chamber is concerned that this increase is taking the city in the wrong direction," Penticton and Wine Country Chamber advocacy committee chair Jason Cox says in the release.

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of the community. They are the employers, the community supporters, the service providers that we all count on and increases like this will have a serious impact on their ability to hire, or in some cases, stay in business.”

The Chamber expressed hope city council would consider some form of tax relief for the business sector. It urged council to show support for small businesses in ways that count in the budget: through spending restraint, low business taxes and adopting policies that encourage economic growth.

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