Tax rates to rise

Summerlanders will pay more on their tax bills this year, but the amount of the increase has not yet been finalized.

Summerlanders will pay more on their tax bills this year, but the amount of the increase has not yet been finalized.

The municipal finance committee has recommended a one per cent increase for this year, but Mayor Janice Perrino said such an increase does not bring in much additional money.

A one per cent increase adds around $63,000 to municipal coffers.

“It doesn’t do very much but it allows us to put something into reserves,” she said.

The municipality collects around $5.9 million in taxes. The total budget is between $25 million and $28 million. Additional revenues come from grants and from rentals and the sale of services.

Perrino and others on council have been committed to keeping taxes and tax increases as low as possible.

From 2008 to 2011, the tax increases came to five per cent over the three years.

From 2005 to 2008, tax increases came to 15 per cent.

While the proposed tax increase is low, increases in utility rates are more significant.

Summerland’s water rate increased by five per cent last January, sewer rates rose by three per cent and electrical rates rose by four per cent at the beginning of this year.

Municipal treasurer Ken Ostraat said capital projects and preventative maintenance upgrades are in the works for all Summerland utilities.



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