Kelowna well positioned for growth and stability
Kelowna City Council approved the final 2022 financial plan on Monday, April 25. An overall tax demand increase of 3.94% has been set.
A 3.94% increase translates to an additional $86.47 per year, or $7.20 per month, for the municipal portion on an average residential property tax bill in Kelowna. Municipal taxes are only part of a property tax bill, which also includes other levies the city collects on behalf of the province, the Central Okanagan Regional District, the Okanagan Library and of the British Columbia assessment authority.
“Our financial decisions are guided by a solid Imagine Kelowna vision, strong master plans and clear council priorities,” said City Manager Doug Gilchrist. “Resilient financial management, a robust development sector and extensive grant programs have helped us create stability and minimize the fiscal impact on our citizens amid the complex financial challenges facing local governments. The City will continue to advocate for a new fiscal relationship with the Province for more predictable and reliable funding to address growing financial pressures.
The City’s gross tax claim is $167.1 million. General municipal taxation in 2022 will represent approximately 25% of the City’s operating revenues. Additional funding sources for the 2022 financial plan include grants, reserves and user fees. In 2021, the City obtained 16 grants with a total value of $20 million. This included, from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, a $9 million Investing in Canada Environmental Quality Infrastructure grant for the Septic Tank Removal and Water Connections Project. Kelowna sewers; a $3.2 million grant for the Strengthening Community Services Program for the City’s Outdoor Shelter Strategy and a $2.4 million grant for COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure from Investing in Canada’s infrastructure for the Rutland-Okanagan Rail Trail active transportation corridor.
In 2022, $35 million will be invested in water, wastewater and stormwater protection projects. An additional $31.1 million will be invested in infrastructure projects for parks and public spaces. With 31% of the total budget, community safety represents the largest operational investment. With the addition of 17 public safety-related positions, including 11 new RCMP officers for a proposed investment of $2.7 million once annualized in 2024. Other priorities include advancing energy and environmental initiatives in that are addressing climate change with low-carbon initiatives, including continued investment in active transportation corridors, alternative modes of transportation, additional vehicle charging stations, and GHG emissions software.
Each year, the Board establishes fiscal requirements after reviewing the financial plan to determine which projects to fund and which to postpone or cancel, balancing the community interest in maintaining existing service levels while planning for needs. important infrastructure.
“The investments we are making today will lay the foundation for building a strong future for our rapidly growing community,” said Kevin Hughes, Director, Corporate Financial Planning. “As we work to build a city of the future, we will also need to be flexible and nimble in our decision-making to effectively manage changing economic factors, including rising inflation, interest rate pressures, labor shortages and supply chain challenges.”
In the 2020 Citizens’ Survey, 79% of residents said they received good value for their municipal taxes and the majority, 91%, said they were satisfied with the overall level and quality of services provided by the City .
Residents will receive their property tax notices at the end of May. Property taxes must be paid by July 4 and there is a 10% non-discretionary statutory penalty for late payments. We remind homeowners that the Homeowner Grant program is now offered by the Province of British Columbia. To apply for a retroactive or new grant, visit www.gov.bc.ca/homeownergrant.
For more information on the City’s budget and to view the 2022 financial plan, visit kelowna.ca/budget.