Summerland’s 2014 municipal budget will include a two per cent tax increase this year. The 70-page financial plan and documents are on the municipal website at

Taxes forecast to rise

Despite the loss of six positions at the municipality, the 2014 budget will show an increase.

Despite the loss of six positions at the municipality, the 2014 budget will show an increase.

Municipal treasurer Lorrie Coates presented the five-year financial plan at the municipal council meeting on Monday evening.

The budget calls for a two per cent property tax increase, a 3.3 per cent electrical rate increase, no increase in water and garbage collection rates and a five per cent increase in sewer costs.

The general fund budget is for $10,989,005 this year, up from 10,769,517 in 2013.

The bulk of this amount will come from taxation, with $7,138,771 from taxes. This is an increase from last year’s taxation amount of  $6,948,103.

Sales of services and rentals will add $2,085,050 to the municipality’s revenues while licenses, permits and fines account for $329,720.

The remainder of the revenue includes funds from grants in lieu of taxes, provincial grants, penalties and interests on taxes and a $600,000 transfer from the municipal electrical fund.

Most of the money will go to departmental expenditures.

General government costs are $1,592,083 for this year, up from $1,420,503 in the 2013 budget.

Coates said this increase includes the cost of the newly created position of manager of financial services, increased legal costs for the municipality and the costs of the municipal election in fall.

Protective services account for $2,269,709, down from $2,489,289 last year.

The municipal works department will require $1,711,283, up from $1,630,851 in 2013.

Environmental health services will increase from $944,070 in 2013 to $979,440 this year.

Environmental development services costs will decrease from $777,644 in 2013 to $672,423 this year.

Public health and welfare services will rise from $79,915 to $106,375.

Recreational and cultural services will decrease from $2,142,105 in 2013 to $2,038,515 this year.

Other expenditures include debt charges, bank charges and transfers to reserves.

In addition, $554,988 has been set aside for discretionary spending.

The financial plan also includes the water, sewer and electrical utilities.

Coates said the cost of the increases for this year will work out to $82.35 a year for a $350,000 single family home, or less than 23¢ a day.

Before the budget is adopted, it will go through a public process.

A town hall meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

The bylaw will come before council at the Feb. 24 meeting for the first three readings.

The adoption of the bylaw will be at the March 10 council meeting.

An amendment to the budget, to reflect further information, will take place on Monday, April 28, with the adoption of the amendment scheduled for May 12.