Tax hike not so bad

While property taxes in Summerland are rising by 1.5 per cent this year, the increase is small when measured against the rate of inflation.

While property taxes in Summerland are rising by 1.5 per cent this year, the increase is small when measured against the rate of inflation.

The national rate of inflation, according to figures released by Statistics Canada in February, show a 2.6 per cent increase overall over a 12-month period.

The amount of the increase has already been spoken for, with some of the money going to reserve funds and the remainder to economic promotion and economic projects in the community.

Maintaining a municipal budget at last year’s level becomes a difficult task as there are numerous price increases to consider.

Still, Mayor Janice Perrino has said the municipality will not need to cut staff or services this year.

This is an impressive accomplishment. Other communities have not fared as well in the quest to keep taxes low.

Part of the reason the modest increase was possible is that the municipality is not embarking on large capital projects as has been done over previous years.

Road work, the construction of the new police station and water system improvements have all been pricey, even with the grant funding available for such work.

While tax increases are not happy news for residents, a modest increase is much more palatable than a significant tax hike.

However, there is no guarantee the tax rate will stay at the same level next year.

Prices continue to increase each year and municipal budgets must reflect the higher prices.

For this year, the budget represents a reprieve, a degree of relief for those who have been calling for some relief from rising costs.