Public safety top of mind as Kelowna council approves tax increase | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Public safety top of mind as Kelowna council approves tax increase

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KELOWNA - Taxpayers will likely face a property tax increase of 4.12 per cent after city council passed the 2016 provisional city budget.

The increase is heavy on public safety as more than half the increase of about $6 million is dedicated to hiring more police and bylaw officers while moving ahead with construction of a new police station.

Council agreed to hire six more RCMP officers, on top of six hired last year. Two new bylaw officers will take up duties in May in time for the busy summer season.

Mayor Colin Basran said he was happy with the budget and its emphasis on public safety.

“This is what our citizen survey tells us people want. I have never heard anyone ask us to cut services.”

The budget increase will see Kelowna taxpayers fork over $120 million, about 38 per cent of the total budget. The rest of the revenue comes from other taxation and revenue. 

A 4.12 per cent tax hike would give the average Kelowna home a tax bill of $1,861.

The provisional budget will be finalized in April, 2016

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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