Examining spending

A report on municipal spending does not show Summerland in a flattering light.

A report on municipal spending, compiled by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, does not show Summerland in a flattering light.

Of 153 municipalities in British Columbia, Summerland was ranked among the worst, placing 20th from the bottom in terms of bad spending.

The report examines tax increases compared with the rate of inflation.

Using this benchmark, a community which can maintain its budget at last year’s level would receive high praise in the report while one which increased taxes slightly would be less well received.

The budgets and tax increases do not tell the complete story.

Taxes have risen in Summerland, but those increases have been modest.

This is thanks in part to the work of a finance committee which examines each item to decide if it can be supported. The scrutiny from this committee is part of the reason our budget remains reasonable.

A portion of the tax increases we have seen are to fund some significant and badly needed improvements. Road work, water upgrades and the new police station have all been needed.

Even without such projects, the costs of running a municipality will increase slightly each year as there are cost increases beyond the control of a local government. The costs of energy, supplies and labour will increase slightly from one year to the next. Attempting to keep spending at the level of a previous year would result in some cuts to services.

Reports and studies such as the one from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business are useful if they result in a careful consideration of public spending.

However, it would be a mistake to use a community’s expenditures or tax rate as the sole measure of its financial success or failure.


Just Posted

Egg-stravaganza in Memorial Park

Kids Easter event planned for Summerland

Reel Reviews: Fear or love

We say, “Once again, one worth seeing, one not.”

Cancer fundraiser takes to Okanagan Lake

Penticton and Naramata joining growing fundraising event

Two people safe after falling through ice

Kelowna Fire Department urges caution around icy waters during warm weather

Missing Kelowna woman sought

RCMP are asking for assistance in locating Christine Olsen-Meissnitzer

Sharing the voices of the mountains with Spirit North

Celebrating the first season of the Spirit North ski program for Indigenous youth at Nickel Plate

Pedestrian airlifted to hospital after semi truck collision north of Cache Creek

RCMP say person sustained non-life threatening injuries

A frustrated Trump lashes out at special counsel Mueller

In a series of weekend tweets naming Mueller for the first time, Trump criticized the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

B.C. teachers’ union to ask for higher salaries to help with shortages

B.C. starting teacher salaries are $10,000 to $15,000 lower than Ontario or Alberta says B.C. Teachers’ Federation president.

Few political staffers on Parliament Hill report sexual misconduct: survey

Sixty-five of the 266 survey respondents said they had personally experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment.

Experimental pot lab sprouting cannabis-infused drinks, new edibles

Nestled inside Canopy Growth Corp.’s sprawling marijuana facility outside Ottawa is a special laboratory

Federal committee to examine human trafficking in Canada

The Commons committee plans on holding hearings in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

United Way invests more than $460,000 in South Okanagan

United Way celebrates contributors to 2017 community campaign

Most Read