Summerland taxes and utility rates expected to rise

Summerlanders can expect to pay more on their property tax and utility bills in the coming year.

District of Summerland

District of Summerland

Summerlanders can expect to pay more on their property tax and utility bills in the coming year.

Lorrie Coates, director of finance for the municipality, said the recommended property tax increase this year is three per cent.

The tax rate is in keeping with the municipality’s five-year financial plan, and it will keep taxes comparable with other communities in the region.

For a property with an assessed value of $435,000, with a tax bill of $1,374 last year, the increase this year would bring the bill to $1,415.

Much of the increase covers contractual expenses including labour agreements and service contracts.

Levels of service are not expected to decrease.

The municipality has received a grant to conduct a review of its assets in 2016.

Coates said the review will assist in planning tax increases and capital projects in the future.

The review will help to determine how long until facilities must be replaced.

The utility rate increases will affect water, sewer and electrical rates.

A typical household with total water costs of $450 and sewer costs of $265 will pay an expected $516 for water and $302 for sewer.

The increases add up to $8.70 a month.

The projected increase in electrical rates would see a monthly bill increase by $9 a month, from $226 in 2015 to $235 in 2016.

The municipality will hold an open house about the operations and finances and to provide input into the upcoming budget.

The open house will be be held at the former library building, 9525 Wharton St. on Monday, March 21, from 3 to 8 p.m. Formal presentations will be held at 4 and 7 p.m.