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

Give a hoot and don’t touch baby birds

SORCO raptor rehab reminds residents to stop before they touch baby bird

Four Penticton residents arrested for violent attack on homeless

Four individuals have been arrested for a attack and robbery on two homeless men

Penticton mourns respected educator Bruce Johnson

Memories of former teacher, principal and trustee Bruce Johnson are flooding social media

PHOTOS: Spring has sprung in the Okanagan-Shuswap

The new season is bringing warm weather across the region

Beloved Okanagan-Skaha school district champion dies

Bruce Johnson was a teacher, principal and long-serving school trustee in Penticton

VIDEO: Sunny skies in the forecast makes for a great start to spring

Mostly sunny skies with a chance of rain by Friday evening in the Okanagan Valley

Kelowna RCMP tackle man in Glenmore area

A witness saw RCMP make an arrest on Valley Road just after 6 p.m.

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Father, former child soldier, seeks better life for family in Shuswap

Salmon Arm volunteers begin fundraising effort to help family resettle in Canada

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

Most Read