Penticton city budget discussions starting with proposed five per cent tax increase - InfoNews

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Penticton city budget discussions starting with proposed five per cent tax increase

Penticton city council, from left, Tarik Sayeed, Campbell Watt, Helena Konanz, mayor Andrew Jakubeit, Judy Sentes, Andre Martin and Max Picton. Council will begin the 2017 budget discussions on Tuesday, Feb. 21.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
February 20, 2017 - 5:30 PM

PENTICTON - City budget meetings get underway this week in Penticton and council is starting with a proposed five per cent property tax increase.

The five per cent tax increase would raise property tax revenue for the City from over $28,900,00 in 2016 to more than $30,800,000 in 2017.

Chief financial officer Jim Bauer says the increase translates into an residential property increase of $105 on an average assessment of $368,000.

Part of the increase will be used to pay for an over 86 per cent increase in the city’s communications budget to $406,021 from $202,729 last year. The increases comes from purchase of engagement software valued at about $15,000, hiring of an engagement coordinator at a cost of $70,000 along with additional communications and public relations activities with a price tag of $80,000.

Wage increases account for about $177,000 of the Penticton Fire Department’s just over $268,000 budget increase in 2017. Training and equipment replacements add about $58,000 to this year’s budget request.

The city’s planning budget could increase by just over 54 per cent to over $477,00 if council gives the nod to the hiring two new positions; a manager of special projects and a shared position.

A special council meeting is set to get underway tomorrow, Feb. 21 at council chambers beginning at 9 a.m. Budget meetings are also scheduled for Feb. 22 and Feb. 23.

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