Tax hikes vary across the Okanagan Similkameen regional district; 2017 budget deliberations continue - InfoNews

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Tax hikes vary across the Okanagan Similkameen regional district; 2017 budget deliberations continue

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December 05, 2016 - 5:30 PM

PENTICTON - Taxes appear to be on the rise for property owners in the Okanagan Similkameen regional district, but the increases will vary according to service area.

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen manager of finance Sandy Croteau said it looks like the 2017 budget will include a $669,000 increase overall as a number of areas begin  new services.

The overall tax increase will not affect every household in the regional district, as the budget increases apply to several sub-regional or local services that not all regional residents participate in, according to chief administrative officer Bill Newell.

Regional district budget talks began in mid-November, with workshops held on Nov. 17, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2.

The 2017 requisition will cost a Penticton homeowner with a residence valued at about $344,300 an additional $3 annually as regional district’s share of taxes rise from $76 to $79.

In electoral areas, an average house priced at approximately $341,200 in Area “A" will see an increase of $4, from $519 to $523 for regional district services.

An average home priced at about $199,500 in Area “B” will see a $44 increase, from $590 to $633 for residences in the Keremeos rural area.

New services included in the 2017 budget include:

  • Heritage Conservation $17,500
  • South Okanagan Transit $46,700
  • Economic Development (Okanagan Film Commission) $35,000
  • Loose Bay Campground water $5,900
  • Victim Services for Electoral Areas “A”, “C”, “D”, “E” and “F” $20,000
  • Okanagan Regional Library for Keremeos, Areas “B” and “G” $24,800

Of the projected $669,000 budget increase, $90,100 will fund new services and $214,800 will service new debt.

Salary and wages, honarariums and fire honorariums are also adding to increased budget costs this year, with those items coming in at $73,100 and 73,900 respectively

The next budget meeting is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 8.

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